JOHN Chand admits he’s relishing the prospect of a rivalry with “noisy neighbours” Spalding United next season.
The relegated Tulips will be up against Chand’s Holbeach United for the first time since 2003/04 – and have made no secret of their desire to win the UCL Premier Division.
But while the Tigers manager is impressed with Spalding’s summer signings so far, he wants his side to do their talking on the pitch.
Chand said: “I’m glad Spalding look to be building a good side, it will make for a good derby.
“Perhaps they should have tried to get this kind of team together when they were at a higher level, but what’s done is done.
“We want to do our talking on the pitch, I’m not really interested in making any bold statements like our noisy neighbours.
“With King’s Lynn and Spalding both in our league and flexing their muscles the lads are buzzing and we can’t wait for the new season.”
The Tigers supremo has been quick to respond to Spalding’s six-man signing spree though, as he bids to build a squad capable of reaching the top six.
Left back Adam Jackson has been snapped up from rivals Boston Town, while the versatile Lewis Brooks has also nailed his colours to the mast. Both have enjoyed spells with the Tigers in the past.
Chand is also close to announcing the signing of three more players, having verbally agreed terms with a full back, centre back and a central midfield player.
With all three expected to put pen to paper at Carter’s Park, Chand is delighted with his dealings so far.
However, he has lifted the lid on the money-grabbing culture that is becoming common-place at step five of the non-league ladder.
In a text message seen by the Spalding Guardian, one of Chand’s targets demanded a £1,500 signing on fee, a £500 golden handshake to agree a deal and a further £500 at the start of the season in August, on top of a basic £175 per-week wage and a £25 goal bonus.
The journeyman attacker, who has now signed for another UCL side, also wanted to trouser a £500 promotion bonus.
Chand is keen to emphasise that Holbeach won’t consider negotiating with these kind of players.
He added: “Adam and Lewis are a breath of fresh air. They are local lads and just want to do well for the club.
“Both are excellent signings and will help us build on last season.
“I must have spoken to 25 players already this summer and a lot of them are just offering themselves to the highest bidder.
“People seem to think that when I’m after a player there must be big money involved. The truth is we’ve got a budget and will sign the players that best fit into that.
“I’ve promised myself and the committee that we’ll stick to it. The plan is to improve on last season and perhaps the season after we can have a crack at the title.”
Although the title may be unrealistic for Holbeach this season, meeting Spalding will be like a cup final for the team.
And Chand is adamant that last week’s Spalding Guardian back page – which featured ex-Tiger Simon Mowbray claiming the Tulips will finish above his Tigers – will be pinned up in the dressing room ahead of the derby clashes for motivation.