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Norwich City testimonial is just what Micky Chapman deserves, says Lowestoft Town boss

PUBLISHED: 11:12 12 July 2016 | UPDATED: 11:12 12 July 2016

Ady Gallagher and Micky Chapman during their time as joint bosses at Lowestoft Town.

Ady Gallagher and Micky Chapman during their time as joint bosses at Lowestoft Town.

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Lowestoft Town boss Ady Gallagher believes tonight's testimonial against Norwich City will provide a "fitting tribute" to Micky Chapman.

Gallagher and Chapman worked as joint managers in leading the club to the National League set-up alongside director of football and former Norwich City defender Craig Fleming.

Despite Chapman’s retirement from football last year, the pair remain the best of friends off the field and Gallagher is glad the Blues are recognising the 33 years of service he gave with the visit of Alex Neil’s men.

“It’s a massive game for the club and it’s a fitting tribute for what he gave to this club,” said Gallagher, whose side were relegated to the Ryman League Premier last season.

“I think the world of him – he gave a tremendous amount to the club and we shared some great times. He’s a great bloke and I hope we can give him a performance to be proud of.”

Chapman has been keen for the focus to be on the players’ needs to get some much-needed game time to prepare for the new season.

Lowestoft have already had two friendlies this summer – beating Waveney and Kirkley & Pakefield – whilst Norwich began their pre-season campaign with a 2-1 win over Walsall at St George’s Park.

“All our work is geared towards the start of our season,” admitted Gallagher.

“We want to give a good account of ourselves and these are games you look forward to as players in pre-season. It’s a great chance for us to test ourselves against very, very good players, who were playing in the Premier League last season.

“We’ve played Cambridge and Luton over the last couple of years but this is another level again. It’s a massive test for the players and they are all looking forward to it.”

Gallagher is hoping to add another two signings before the start of their season next month but believes his squad can present a decent challenge to the Canaries.

“I’m happy with the health of my squad at this stage,” he added.

“We knew we needed to be in reasonable nick to face Norwich because if you’re not careful then they could blow you away.

“We want to give ourselves a fighting chance to live with them and we’re in the kind of shape to do that.”

Alex Neil is expected to again bring a mix of experience and youth to Crown Meadow, with minor injury concerns over some of Neil’s first-team squad leading to the late cancellation of the proposed under-18s friendly tonight at Ely City.

The development squad will also be in action this evening when they take on Dulwich Hamlet on a busy evening for the Canaries.

City fans will hope to get a first glimpse of James Maddison since his arrival from Coventry City while fit-again Timm Klose featured against Walsall on Saturday. The likes of Alex Tettey, Jonny Howson, Russell Martin and Michael Turner did not feature at the weekend and the club’s Euro 2016 contingent will again be absent at Crown Meadow.

n Ely chief Stone admitted City’s call-off was a blow to his Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division club.

He said: “It’s disappointing. We were expecting a big crowd and a lot of people were talking about it, but unfortunately these things happen.”

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