Wisbech boss hits out at Reed exit

Wisbech Town boss Steve Appleby yesterday questioned star midfielder Callum Reed's ambition after the highly-rated youngster agreed a move to UCL neighbours King's Lynn.

The 20-year-old has snubbed a possible switch to Blue Square Premier side Cambridge United to link up with the Linnets. Lynn's management were poised to complete the paperwork last night, with Fenmen skipper Paul Cousins also mulling over a cross-border exit from his hometown club.

'Nothing surprises me in football because I never expected Callum to be with us next season so it's not a blow or shock,' said Appleby. 'However, it's disappointing that he's gone to a club at exactly the same level as us and he's done that for ridiculous money really. They've blown us and Cambridge United – a Blue Square Premier side – out of the water. Reedy was going to train with them so it shows what sort of money they're wafting around. The most disappointing thing for me was that Callum said he wanted to go onto higher things and I was happy for him to do that. I thought he was ambitious but this proves that money talks.

'I'm just hoping Cousi sees a bit of sense. He's more of a local lad and he's been here for a while. I just hope that tugs at his heart strings which gives us a chance of making sure he doesn't go down that road too. He loves playing here and he'll enjoy his football here more than he would if he joined King's Lynn.'

Appleby insists life will go on for the Ridgeons League Cup winners if they lose their talismanic captain, who is poised to announce his decision later this week.

'They've offered him silly money but I just hope he sees through that,' he said. 'I would never do anything that puts this club in trouble so if he decides to go to Chelsea or Man City – I mean King's Lynn – then so be it. We're looking at other players and as much as I don't want to lose Paul then if he goes we'll deal with it. These things happen in football.

'Kevin Boon can say what he wants about his club but at the end of the day they're in the United Counties Premier Division. That's still step five in the non-League ladder which makes them no bigger than us.'

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Linnets' joint boss Boon admitted Reed was a prime close season target after failing to lure the youngster in February.

'This is a terrific signing for myself and Gary (Setchell),' he said. 'A lot of things were said before but we understood that Callum wanted to show loyalty to Wisbech and Steve Appleby. We watched him again three or four times towards the end of last season and he was outstanding. I know the likes of Cambridge United have had a look but this is a great coup for us.'

Boon confirmed Lynn's management are also in the market for Cousins.

'Paul has a difficult choice to make because it's his hometown club and I understand what a wrench that would be to leave,' he said.

'But the likes of Roy McManus and Jackie Gallagher and plenty of others have made a similar move between the two clubs. For myself and Setch though he has been an outstanding player for the past 18 months or so since I have got back involved.

'He typifies everything you want in a leader and an inspirational figure. Paul has asked for time to think about it and we respect that but hopefully by the end of the week we will have a positive answer.

'I know people might turn around and say the clubs are at the same level in non-League football and, while that is the case, I'm sure any player looking at our club can see we are geared to go higher and we are ambitious to build on a successful first season.'