Kirkley & Pakefield chief looking to put club back where it belongs

Kirkley & Pakefield general manager Harry Goldspink is looking 'to take the club back to where it was two or three years ago'.

The financial climate has seen the club slip down the Eastern Counties League pecking order in the last two seasons, but Goldspink is hoping to re-establish the Royals at the top end of the table working alongside first team boss Paul Tong.

The club ethos of bringing players through their youth ranks to the first team will continue and Goldspink has challenged Tong to aim for a top-six finish next season.

'We are looking to be right up there. I think Tongy (Paul Tong) said top 10, well my target is top six,' he said. 'We want to take the club back to where it was two or three years ago. It's obviously very difficult in the current financial climate but we are working hard to try and bring new sponsors on board and we're working hard with our current sponsors.

'We're not a club that spends other people's money.

'We are clear of all debt and we're proud of that.'

Goldspink insists the club won't break the bank in its pursuit of success, instead relying on Kirkley's burgeoning youth set-up.

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'We are a club that believes in local players and local football,' he added. 'We're not looking to bring players in from anywhere else and pay them lots of money because one, we haven't got it and two, I don't think they are any better than what we've got locally.

'My belief is that there is a lack of opportunity locally for the young players to step up into senior football.

'With Kirkley we see the fact that our first team and reserve team play senior football as a great opportunity for young players.

'It's gone absolutely flat in the town from what I can see. I haven't seen any 16, 17, 18 year-olds come through and play anywhere apart from Kirkley.'

Goldspink hailed the job Tong did last season to ensure the Royals remained in the Premier Division and believes the former Yarmouth boss has brought all facets of the club closer together.

'I never saw that we were in any danger of going down – I think there was just a lack of confidence among the young players,' he said. 'They didn't understand the league they were playing in. Paul came in and did a very good job – the thing that impressed me was his communication skills with the reserve team manager, the A and B teams. He is very much orientated with the football club – not just the first team. I'm very pleased with what he's done.'

Goldspink's long-term plan is to take the club into Step Four football but he admitted promotion next season may be a little too soon.

'I think you've got to cut your cloth accordingly,' he added. 'If we were to take the next step into the Ryman League, our ground is ready for it.

'Everything is in place apart from the football team – we need to produce a football team from in-house that is capable of playing at that standard of football.

'To do that we need to win the league. Do I think we will do it this year? Probably not. Do I think are going in the right direction? Absolutely.'

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