New era for Fakenham Town FC

Fakenham Town Football Club held their annual meeting at the clubhouse, with new chairman Geoff Saunders heralding a new era in the fortunes of the club.

Fakenham Town Football Club held their annual meeting at the clubhouse, with new chairman Geoff Saunders heralding a new era in the fortunes of the club.

Saunders, a former player and manager for the Ghosts, was very upbeat about the prospects of the club as he welcomed aboard a new senior ladies' side, formerly West Lynn Ladies, who will be fully amalgamated into the Clipbush Park set-up.

The Fakenham youth set-up has also merged more closely with the senior club in a bid to maximise the strengths of the two parties, with a more streamlined committee taking over the running of the club.

Andrew Mitchell is the new club secretary, former chairman Nigel Allen takes over the reins of treasurer while long-serving vice-chairman Paul Wright is stepping down from his responsibilities for a break. Chairman Saunders thanked them both for their hard work in recent years.

Asa Saunders takes up a new role as director of coaching, and will be responsible for the development and recruitment of the coaching staff at Clipbush Park.

The Ghosts club are looking forward to the new season with a renewed optimism after manager Wayne Anderson revealed a clutch of new signings to complement the wave of home-grown players that broke through last season.

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Anderson, in his first full season in charge, has been busy in the summer break, managing to secure the services of former King's Lynn players Steve Harvey, Matt Gilchrist, Lee Hyde and Tom Rix, all of whom played for the Ghosts towards the end of last season, together with Darryl Rose, despite overtures from newly-formed Lynn FC.

Press Officer Paul Wright said Anderson has also secured the signatures of Ben Coe, Luke Greer and Royce Rawlings from his former club Downham Town and is this week looking to sign Jason Cole and keeper Cameron Brown, both making returns to the club.

One of the problem areas last season was in the goal scoring department, but Anderson has persuaded Nicky Bunting to join the club from Gayton. Bunting was a prolific goal scorer with the village side, and Andersons sees no reason why the youngster should not make the step up into senior football.

Striker Danny Foulsham is also on the road to recovery after injury marred his end to last season. The local youngsters Jake Betts, Dan Savory, Harry Felton and Yiotti Alamanos have all pledged themselves to the club, and will figure strongly in a squad that oozes pace.

Pre-season training has been well attended, with fitness and stamina high on the agenda, as the club look to make an early impact on the league after two seasons of struggling at Ridgeons One.

Anderson prefers to display quiet optimism as opposed to making loud predictions, but the mood at the club is certainly one of expectation rather than gloom.

“The league is still strong despite losing clubs such as Yarmouth and Brantham, and we shall see by Christmas where we figure in the overall scheme of things,” said Anderson this week.

“I'm not about to make rash predictions at this stage of the season, but just to promise that we shall work as hard as is required to make sure this club is in its rightful place.”

Fakenham kicked off their round of pre-season friendlies on Saturday with a closely fought match played on the artificial pitch at Lynnsport against a very strong and experienced Norwich United side who secured a 2-1 win, Fakenham's goal coming from a 25-yard strike from Jason Day. In sweltering conditions Fakenham certainly gave a good account of themselves.