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Blues' Dublin bid foiled

PUBLISHED: 07:00 25 January 2008 | UPDATED: 19:30 05 July 2010

Mark Boggis

Lowestoft Town have been foiled in an audacious swoop to sign Norwich City striker Dion Dublin.

The former England international has revealed he will be quitting Carrow Road and professional football at the age of 39 when the season comes to an end in May.

Mark Boggis

Lowestoft Town have been foiled in an audacious swoop to sign Norwich City striker Dion Dublin.

The former England international has revealed he will be quitting Carrow Road and professional football at the age of 39 when the season comes to an end in May.

It will bring down the curtain on a magnificent career which has seen the veteran play for Cambridge United, Manchester United, Coventry City, Aston Villa, Leicester City and Celtic before arriving in Norfolk.

And Lowestoft chairman Geoff Price this week revealed to The Journal that Ridgeons League Premier Division had tried to tempt Dublin with the offer of the chance to continue to play his football at Crown Meadow once he leaves Carrow Road.

With Price's close links with The Canaries, he admitted that he had spoken to Dublin, pictured, - who skippered Norwich in a pre-season friendly at the Meadow in July, in which the Coca-Cola Championship outfit triumphed 12-0 in front of 2,000 fans - but was thwarted in his attempts to capture the big man, as he will be moving up north when he finishes playing.

But, following a successful week on the field - in which Micky Chapman's men reached the last 16 of the FA Vase for only the second time in their history - new names could soon be appearing on The Blues teamsheet.

“We are looking to strengthen the team prior to the next round,” Price exclusively told The Journal. “We will be two down with Russell Stock and Darren Cockrill suspended, so we need to take that into consideration.”

With an array of contacts - which have been boosted by the recent employment of former Norwich City's sponsorship sales executive Jenny Gillett to The Blues committee - Price added that The Blues have been busy “building up a network” of relationships with professional club.

“Bill Punton is actively scouting for us and we'll be following up a couple of his recommendations this weekend,” Price said. “We've a network out and about, and we'll work closely with Norwich City and Keith Webb at King's Lynn, while we've also been talking to Ipswich about their youth set up as we build relationships there.

There was also a good between Kirkley and Pakefield FC, with Price speaking regularly to Charles Samkin (the K&P chairman) about grass roots football.

And this week The Blues chairman paid tribute to the efforts of the management duo of Micky Chapman and Ady Gallagher and the players after Lowestoft's stunning 3-2 FA Vase success.

“In the second half, nerves got the better of me and for the last five minutes of added time I had to watch the game from the toilets,” Price revealed.

“Basically I hadn't realised how much Lowestoft Town FC had affected me - I am a Norwich City fan, but I'm a true blue at heart. “I would like to give my full support to Micky Chapman and Ady Gallagher for the terrific jobs they've done and to the players as well,” Price admitted.

“Gary and I support the club's management team wholeheartedly and we unreservedly give Mick and Ady our support for the future. “The work that has been done so far has been sorting things out off the field - now it's time to give them the support they need for the future.”

With the club moving together as one, Lowestoft have made massive strides in the past year, as the threat of financial ruin has finally passed.

“All the outstanding loans and debts have now been cleared, things are all in order and we are now all one club as we take over the running of the social club as well,” Price revealed.

Looking forward the next focus is on strengthening the playing squad, before looking at building a player development centre in the future.

“We are delighted with a fantastic home draw in the next round as it will be like having an extra player again with our crowd,” price revealed. “Dunston may be the second favourites to win the Vase, but I think this is our year - and we will reach the final this year.”

New recruit to the Lowestoft committee, Jenny Gillett is settling in well to her new role as the club's sales and marketing director.

“I started out at Norwich City FC in 1999, where I worked in telesales for a year then progressed to sponsorship sales executive, working with (former City legend) Bryan Gunn for six years,” she told The Journal.

With dealings in sponsorship and corporate hospitality, she admitted: “I got to know a lot of business people in Norfolk and made some good contacts - including Geoff and Sandra Price - and it was Geoff who sold Lowestoft Town to me.”

Following on from the “fantastic” efforts and work of director of football Gary Bennett, Jenny has now “brought her expertise” from Norwich to The Blues party.

“It is a different ball game but the businesses are the same,” she admitted. “I'm keen to speak to all local companies and try and get local businesses involved in supporting the local team.

“Lowestoft has a really good fanbase and following - and we're looking to develop sponsorship, ground advertising and Club 50 to get local businesses on board.”

For sponsorship and advertising opportunities, contact the sales and marketing director - Jenny Gillett - on 07795 558969, or e-mail jennyltfc@aol.com

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