Linnets begin pre-season training

King's Lynn boss Tommy Taylor insists the Southern League, Premier Division promotion push starts today at the club's opening pre-season training session.

King's Lynn boss Tommy Taylor insists the Southern League, Premier Division promotion push starts today at the club's opening pre-season training session.

Taylor promises a gruelling build up to August's big kick off in a bid to erase last month's play off semi-final heartbreak.

The Linnets boss admits he has gone into overdrive to freshen up his first team squad.

"We'll have around 25 lads there even with the likes of Westy, Jack and Matty O'Halloran on holiday," he said. "I'll be looking to sign up people like Cammy and Sam McMahon straight away but there's plenty of new players we've invited along to have a look at as well.


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"The first session is going to be a tough one and we've got another eight before the first pre-season game at Mildenhall. I want us to train three times a week during this period - obviously some of those will be matches but we'll still be running before and after games. If they don't look fit I won't play them in the opening league games.

"I used to train every day - even in the summer. They should've done a bit on their own since the end of last season and we'll soon find out which ones have. It's not about being ready for the first league game but the first quarter of the season."

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Taylor is leaving no stone unturned in his team building plans - beginning with former Norwich City academy goalkeeper Shane Herbert.

"He's only 19 but has had a good grounding at Norwich and last season Gillingham," he said. "He's in Denmark at the moment but will be joining us in a week or two. Shaun Marshall hasn't come back to me but the offer is there if he doesn't find himself a league club.

"I've still got the two lads from last year as well. To be fair they were brilliant for me but I feel we need a bigger presence, someone who can command the area and has a good kick - that allows us to defend from the half way line."

Taylor's revamped backline - minus Stamford-bound squad men Adam Jones and Danny Hammond - could feature Norwich City youth product Greg Crane and ex-Lincoln stopper Simon Weaver.

"Westy played with him and lives in the same area," said Taylor. "He's a right-sided centre back so we are going to have a look. Even if Coops comes back I need two centre halves. The boy Coe looks like he will sign for Cambridge City. Cammy does a decent job but we can use him better out wide or in midfield. I've also got a couple of left backs in mind."

Crawley's 20-year-old Conference National midfielder Lee Blackburn fits Taylor midfield blueprint.

"Lee played over 30 games at a good standard last year," he said. "He came through with Smithy at Norwich City and it's vital we have more options in the middle of the park. You need lads who can break up the play, good passers on the ball and people prepared to run beyond the front men.

"Smithy is bringing another two lads who have just finished university. Both have been with football league clubs - one was a striker at Brighton."

Up front Taylor believes he might have found a perfect foil for Matt Nolan in ex-Nuneaton hitman Michael Frew.

"He had an opportunity to play in the Nationwide North but wants to train with us," said Taylor. "He's Peterborough-based and already knows Matty as well as Luke Kennedy who he'll travel over with. If we can do a deal then there's a good chance he'll sign. He is a tidy hold up player who can link the attack for us. With the boy Atkins you get pace so we've the makings of a nice mix up front."

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