King’s Lynn Town manager Gary Setchell hopes history repeats itself when his charges kick-off their Southern League Premier campaign at The Walks tomorrow.
The Linnets host Merthyr Town in a new dawn following the sale of the club to ambitious new owner Stephen Cleeve back in May.
The last time Setchell’s side won at home on the opening day came back in 2012/13 when Chasetown were beaten 1-0.
That victory marked the start of a memorable season which saw the Linnets go on to clinch back-to-back promotions by winning Division One South of the Northern Premier League.
Setchell said: “We’d had a terrible pre-season, including a 4-0 defeat against Wisbech at home. Everyone was writing us off, but the victory against Chasetown really set us alight so let’s hope it is a bit of an omen this time around.
“I can’t wait to get started again and I’d love to start our season with a win at home.”
Last term, Lynn finished ninth in the final standings – one place above the Martyrs in tenth. Tomorrow’s visitors were one of only four teams to complete the double over Lynn last season, including the home horror show in January, and Setchell would like to put the record straight.
“I’m really looking forward to it and we do owe them one,” admitted Setchell.
“A positive result against Merthyr isn’t going to determine our season but if we can get a win it will set us up nicely for the away games at St Neots and Banbury.
“It’s as tough a fixture as we could get and we know that we are going to have to work hard for a result. If the players work as hard as we want them to we will always get results.”
After the declining attendances of the past couple of seasons, Setchell believes that the signs are good after some encouraging pre-season crowds.
“However you look at it, Merthyr is a big game for us and I think our friendlies have been well supported over the summer.
“It’s a new era. Now we’ve signed Leon Mettam, because Sandsy (John Sands) has come back and because we got a positive result against Lowestoft, I think people will come back.
“I’d say to the fans come and have a look. It won’t always be pretty but we will play with high energy and we’ve got one or two players who are capable of unlocking doors.”
Both club captain Mettam and goalkeeper Alex Street are set to be fit for Lynn’s opener, while Sands is set to return from holiday and his fitness will be assessed before the game.
Youngster Liam Fryatt has also played his way into Setchell’s plans, while both Toby Hilliard and Dylan Edge are vying for a start against the Welsh outfit.
“Liam is the one player from the reserves who has really come of age over the summer,” admitted Setchell.
“He has given himself an outstanding chance of getting a starting shirt with his energy, attitude and performances.
“The likes of Mettam and Sands are not going to play every game and sometimes things won’t go their way, but both Dylan Edge and Toby have proved that they belong at this level.
“Toby has so much raw potential and Dylan and him played for the college together, so they know each others game well.
“Sometimes Toby does stuff which wouldn’t look out of place on Soccer AM and other times he does stuff which you’d see on a Budweiser ‘don’t try this at home’ advert somewhere.
“If both Toby and Dylan started against Merthyr it wouldn’t be the end of the world.”