Blue sky thinking
PUBLISHED: 10:19 08 January 2010 | UPDATED: 15:50 06 July 2010
AFTER a "fantastic" past year, which exceeded all expectations, the chairman of Lowestoft Town FC, Gary Keyzor, is aiming to take the club onwards and upwards in the future.
AFTER a “fantastic” past year, which exceeded all expectations, the chairman of Lowestoft Town FC, Gary Keyzor, is aiming to take the club onwards and upwards in the future.
Speaking after an historic first full calendar year at the helm, The Journal can today exclusively reveal that plans are now in place to take The Blues “as far up the pyramid as possible”.
And with Conference football in the sights of the ambitious Blues chairman, moves off the field are being made to develop Crown Meadow in readiness for a new Football Association ground grading inspection in forthcoming weeks.
Revealing that the club is already planning for a “bright future,” Keyzor told The Journal: “As we move into 2010, I believe that the club has much more potential and that the community of Lowestoft deserves to have a club playing at the highest level achievable.
“With this in mind, and after a visit from the FA, we have to make a few adjustments to achieve a level of ground grading that would see the Crown Meadow suitable to host level two non league football. None of the alterations are beyond us and we have until the end of March to achieve such grading,” he admitted.
To adhere to FA regulations, the club needs to install a two-tier portable building (portacabin), which could then be used as a first aid room and a press/PA office.
“This would be our biggest outlay and if any local businesses have any sitting vacant and excess to requirements, and they wish to sell them competitively or can help out in any way, then please do not hesitate to contact the club as we would be most grateful,” Keyzor said.
Other alterations include the installation of a third turnstile to cope with The Blues large fanbase, to infill the perimeter fencing around the pitch and ensure that there is a larger exit on the west side of the ground, as well as “a few minor issues,” which Keyzor believes make this an achievable possibility.
“My aim is to get Lowestoft Town playing as higher standard as possible,” he admitted. “Some ground improvements are imperative to stay at level four or progress to level three, however there is not many more improvements to do to enable the hosting of level 2 football should the opportunity arise.
“So it would make sense financially to do all the improvements in one go,” Keyzor told The Journal “It is also not certain that we would automatically go in the Ryman Premier League if we do manage to win the Division 1 North this season as the FA could send us into the Zamaretta Premier (Southern League).”
Hailing the outstanding efforts of the managerial trio of Micky Chapman, Ady Gallagher and Craig Fleming, as well as all of the backroom team, committee and club officials, Keyzor praised the players for their achievements.
“With the fantastic squad of players that the management team has assembled and the hard working committee that we have in place, coupled with our terrific fanbase and many local companies or individuals that have financially supported Lowestoft Town FC, the future is looking very bright,” Keyzor told The Journal. “I sincerely hope that 2010 is as successful for us as 2009 was.”
Reflecting on a year that “exceeded everything” that Keyzor had marked out for the club to achieve; he recalled his aims on becoming chairman of the go-ahead outfit.
“I stated when I first came on board that I had ambitions and aspirations to take Lowestoft Town FC as far up the footballing pyramid as possible - and on the field the statistics speak for themselves,” he told The Journal.
“I am not just talking about the first team but the reserves and the youth side, all the managers and coaches do such an incredible job for our club. Looking back I can only recall one sad day and that was the day we did not make the FA Vase Final, not only would it have been another great day out for the players and the fantastic fans but the financial gain would of assisted immensely in my future plans for the club and my goals would have been financially easier.”
But overshadowing this Vase “misery,” Keyzor was soon basking in the “wonderful achievement” of winning the Ridgeons league by a “considerable amount of points” as well as enjoying a great evening at Portman Road as The Blues won the Suffolk Premier Cup. This combined with the reserves and youth team also bringing silverware back to the Crown Meadow made it a memorable campaign.
“In May and after much hard work and lobbying we had to sit tight to see what the future would hold as it was in the hands of the FA as to whether Lowestoft would be promoted to level four of the non league pyramid for the first time in its history,” Keyzor said.
Off-the-field, the Blues committee teamed up with “three fantastic girls” at the club's main sponsor Petrogramme who took on the role of becoming Lowestoft's new sales and marketing team.
“With the backing of owner Mike Spearitt, I cannot thank Natasha, Sarah and Louise enough - I don't believe that we would be in the position that we are today without all the hard work and effort that they have put in, and this is not forgetting Barrier, Birds Eye, T&A Embroidery and Bygones who are our other main club sponsors,” Keyzor admitted.
With notification that Lowestoft had been accepted into the Ryman League, Keyzor revealed: “We were to move upwards for the first time in their history and this was another very proud day for me as Chairman, firstly being involved with this exciting promotion and also that the first part of my plans had fallen into place.
“The first five months of life in the Ryman league has been incredible, sitting top of the table as we go into 2010 has I believe exceeded everyone's expectations - and this coupled with a fantastic FA Cup run has most certainly put Lowestoft Town FC firmly on the map.
“No one is getting carried away as nothing is won in December, however I am over the moon with the way things have gone and look forward to an exciting second half of the season,” he added.
And paying tribute to the “fantastic” backing of Lowestoft's Trawler Boys, Keyzor praised the Blues fanatical following.
“The fans again have been fantastic home and away, and hopefully days like our trip to Wrexham will become a more regular occurrence as the fans fully deserve it!” he admitted.
“On behalf of everyone connected with Lowestoft Town FC may I take this opportunity in thanking everyone for their continued support and we wish you all a prosperous 2010.”