Lowestoft Town plan for future as chairman Gary Keyzor backs Blues

THE 'proud' chairman of Lowestoft Town FC, Gary Keyzor, this week hailed the achievements of the management team and players following another 'fantastic season' at Crown Meadow.

Although the Blues just missed out on securing an historic hat-trick of promotions and a place in the Conference set-up after a heartbreaking, last-gasp Ryman Premier League play-off final 4-3 defeat at Tonbridge Angels, the next chapter in Lowestoft's history books is already being plotted.

Moves are afoot to 'try and put in a small amount of terracing' on the west side of Crown Meadow to improve facilities for fans, while the club looks set to run four teams next season – with the withdrawal of the Blues reserves team and a re-formed Lowestoft Ladies side earmarked.

'Okay, so we did not quite make it to the Conference set-up, but what a fantastic season we have had,' Keyzor told The Journal.

'At the start of the season, and once again going into the unknown, we would have been happy to consolidate with a mid-table finish. I believe if it was not for the amount of injuries that we had, we would've been at the top and gained automatic promotion for the third year on the trot.

'I don't believe the two teams that gained promotion (Sutton and Tonbridge) were any better than ourselves,' he admitted. 'I am so proud of all the players who have given their all this season, they are a great bunch of lads who are passionate about our club and afterwards you could see how devastated they were by the defeat, but they are all quality players and will come back next season much stronger as we negotiate our second attempt to move up to the second tier of non league football.' Under Keyzor's chairmanship, which started in late 2008, the go-ahead club have climbed onwards and upwards.

In January 2010, speaking exclusively to The Journal after an historic first full calendar year at the helm of the Crown Meadow club, Keyzor revealed plans to take the Blues 'as far up the pyramid as possible'.

Most Read

And with Conference football in the sights of the ambitious Blues chairman, this distant dream at the time is not that far from being fulfilled.

Reflecting on the past campaign, and looking forward to 2011/12 already, Keyzor saidtold The Journal this week: 'After such a tiring weekend I managed to discipline myself and take Sunday off to reflect on the past ten months and the progress the club has made in a short amount of the time.

'By 9am on Monday morning the new season's planning began as we look at ways of improving things off the field. Should we have been successful in promotion we would have had to build more turnstiles and make provisions for a female referee's dressing room –- those issues will now be put on hold for a further 12 months,' he revealed.

'We are going to try and put in a small amout of terracing west side (of the ground) to allow fans to have a better view at games where we see spectators three or four deep.

'As it stands at the moment we are looking at running four teams next season –- the first team, Under 18, Under 16 and I am in talks regarding the re-forming of Lowestoft Ladies, something which has been of interest to me for a while and I am now confident this can happen for the start of the 2011/12 campaign.

'After a failed attempt to enter our reserve side into the Ridgeons League division one we gave notice to withdraw the side from the Ridgeons Reserve League as we felt the standard of football was not assisting with our development –- the gap between the Ryman Premier and the Ridgeons Reserve League was too vast,' he admitted. 'We have other plans in the pipeline to ensure our up-and-coming youngsters have other opportunities.'

Praising the fervent fans that follow the Blues, and have backed Lowestoft all season, Keyzor paid tribute to the fantastic following which has seen Town claim the best supported tag once more –- boasting the highest recorded average of 739 fans for home matches this season and beating all Ryman League clubs in the process.

'The fans on Saturday were top drawer,' Keyzor said. 'The support given to the players not just on Saturday but throughout the season has been fantastic and much appreciated by myself and everyone connected with the club.

'Our FA Cup campaign was cut short very quickly at Dartford in a game we could have won –- I guess it's the luck of the draw to get such a tough tie in such an early round, but again this was a game which we could have so easily got something out of,' he admitted.

'Our achievement in making the first round proper of the FA Trophy was another highlight. Unfortunately getting drawn against the lowest ranked side left in the competition did us no favours at all and iIf I had to pick any low point over the course of the season it would have to be the defeat at home to Uxbridge.'

With the hard work in the off-season now starting for the Blues officials and management, as they continue to plot their path to the Conference, the chairman added: 'Season tickets and admission prices for next season will remain the same as last season. Season ticket application forms are available to download from our website, from our clubhouse in Love Road or from our main sponsors Petrogramme's office in Alexandra Road.

'I am also pleased to announce that Petrogramme have agreed to stay on board with us, and they will remain as main club sponsors for the 2011/12 campaign,' Keyzor added.