TULIPS: Canoville on the challenge which lured him

Excited by the challenge ahead: new Tulips captain Lee Canoville. Photo (MIKE DAVISON): SG170712-223MD
Excited by the challenge ahead: new Tulips captain Lee Canoville. Photo (MIKE DAVISON): SG170712-223MD
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Boston United’s loss may well prove to be Spalding United’s big gain in the coming two seasons.

The Tulips were quick to show their hand to Lee Canoville when it emerged that the Pilgrims did not want to extend his role as co-manager at York Street.

And the capture of the experienced 31-year-old centre-half on a two-year contract was the moment that many people realised the Tulips meant business with their forward plan.

Canoville said: “I had offers from a couple of clubs higher up but the bottom line was I was excited by the challenge at Spalding.

“It’s a different challenge for a 31-year-old than it is for a 24-year-old.

“The task for me over the next two years is to help this club move up the leagues and help the younger lads around me in the team develop further.”

Tulips player/coach Danny Hussy was the one who first broached the idea of the former Torquay, Northampton Town and Shrewsbury defender switching to the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field.

Canoville had had some contact with him previously over loan deals for Pilgrims players.

The Tulips’ new club captain said: “My time was coming to an end at Boston. I was given the chance to stay on just as a player but I needed a new challenge.

“The news came out with three games of last season to go and I quickly had several clubs contacting me.

“My view has always been that I wouldn’t refuse to talk to anybody – I’d never bypass anyone.

“So I met with (manager) Pat Rayment and Danny and they told me what they wanted to do at the club.

“I could appreciate and understand it and within a couple of weeks I’d made my mind up.”

Canoville is impressed with the professional set-up at the club – a factor which many claim has been missing for many years.

With Rayment working alongside ex-Peterborough United and Chesterfield midfielder Marcus Ebdon, the club now has an heir of authority about it.

And Canoville was quick to pick up on it.

He said: “With Pat as gaffer and Marcus and Danny coaching, it’s got a really professional feel about it.

“Marcus’s training is first class – you can tell he’s been and done it at a high level.”

Canoville, too, will bring a wealth of knowledge to the club and his contacts have already helped secure the signatures of Francis Green and Jay Smedley.

He said: “I’m pleased those two have come in and done well and are enjoying it here like me.

“I know they are top players and I knew they had the right attitude so they were coming here for the right reasons.

“Pat trusted my judgment on that which was great too.”

And it’s not just at the back that Canoville – a football coach in primary schools and part-time insurance agent – hopes to make an impact.

He reckons he’ll weigh in with a few goals too and got off the mark with the only goal of the game with a bullet header from a Green cross at Dereham Town last Saturday.

“It wasn’t a bad one!” he joked. “And I’ve told the lads I’m counting it as part of my season’s tally!”

Just one of many goals he hopes to achieve in his time at the Sir Halley.