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Setchell expects entertaining game as King’s Lynn Town welcome Chasetown for Evo-Stik League opener

10:30 18 August 2012

Lynn manager Gary Setchell. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Lynn manager Gary Setchell. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2012

Boss Gary Setchell believes King’s Lynn Town fans can look forward to exciting football this season ahead of Chasetown’s visit to The Walks.

The promoted Linnets kick-off their Evo-Stik Division One South campaign at home this afternoon against the relegated Staffordshire outfit who won their last pre-season match 8-0.

Chasetown, best known for being the lowest-ranked side to reach the FA Cup Third Round, are expected by many to challenge for the title and Setchell admits he’s looking forward to pitting his wits against the Scholars.

The Lynn boss said: “They were a Step Three side last season, we were a Step Five side and we’re both looking to move forward.

“They’re a relatively well-known club and I’m sure they’ll be looking to come here and do well. They scored eight goals in a friendly recently so I think it’ll be an entertaining game.

“I think our games are going to be closer this season. They’ll be good football matches to watch. I don’t think we’ll see too many one-sided battles where teams win five or six nil or have the game wrapped up by half-time. There are exciting times ahead.

“I hope the supporters come out in force because they’ve been brilliant over the last two seasons. King’s Lynn fans want to see effort and a never-say-die attitude and we’ve really got that in abundance this season.”

Lynn should be at full strength - minus injured centre-back Stuart Wall - for the reformed club’s first game at Step Four of the non-league ladder.

Talented youngster Ryan Fryatt is likely to start alongside Phil Gulliver at the heart of Setchell’s defence, if as expected he can shake off a tight groin, and the Lynn boss insists the pair can flourish in Wall’s absence.

“Phil Gulliver’s whispering in Ryan Fryatt’s ear all the time. He’s telling him when he needs to be told,” said Setchell, who hopes to know the full extent of Wall’s ‘serious’ knee injury next week.

“Phil’s brought a wealth of experience to our defence. Between the pair of them they’ve got experience, strength, bravery, speed – the latter obviously with Ryan. They’ve got everything. “Phil’s a tower of strength and he’s got Ryan, not exactly on a remote control, but on a bit of string. Streaky (Fryatt) is learning off him game by game. To be fair to the boy even though Stuart’s got injured he would have started on Saturday due to the lack of games Walley had during pre-season so it’s not a problem.

“If one player has got better and better throughout pre-season it’s Gulliver. He’s cruised through it and got fitter and fitter and I think you’ll see the best of him once the real stuff starts.

“So short-term Stuart’s absence is not a massive problem but obviously if it’s long-term I’m going to have to look at bringing in another centre-half.”

Back-to-back friendly victories against Histon (4-2) and Soham Town Rangers (3-1), after some mixed pre-season results, has raised expectations that Lynn will be able to cope well with higher-level football.

And Setchell insists his side’s ability to deal with setbacks in both games - going behind to Histon and allowing Soham to equalise after a defensive mix-up involving keeper Alex Street - shows they have the mental toughness to deal with any difficult times that may follow in the Northern League.

The Linnets chief said: “You never like to concede soft goals and I think 80pc of them this pre-season have been just that. They’ve not been through bad play. They’ve been through individual errors.

“But that’s human error. It happens in life. You watch Match of the Day every Saturday and someone makes a mistake.

“It would have been nice to have kept a clean sheet on Saturday but last season mistakes beat us up.

“This summer, it’s happened, we’ve got on with it and kicked on again. There’s a never-say-die attitude. We made a mistake on Saturday, it went 1-1 and we scored within 10 minutes. No disrespects to Soham but we could have run out well easy winners as well.

“I’ve got 17 lads in the dressing room who all want a shirt. This team is a new team. There’s a different mentality and the work ethic, win, losing or drawing, is unbelievable. The togetherness is immense. Within eight weeks, with a new set of lads, the team spirit is different class.”

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