BOSTON Town manager Martyn Lakin believes the fenland rivalry in the United Counties League Premier Division will be more fierce than ever this season.
The emnity between the Poachers and Holbeach United has reached boiling point, with Paul Goodhand, Adam Jackson and Loz Lambley leaving Tattershall Road for John Chand’s Tigers.
And with Spalding United - managed by ex-Boston United winger Andrew Stanhope, with former Town boss Bob Don-Duncan as his assistant - dropping down, further bragging rights are at stake.
Add to this King’s Lynn, one of the title favourites, Bourne, and old foes Deeping and there’s plenty of local pride to play for.
Plus Sleaford Town and Blackstones will offer the Poachers more county derbies this term.
“The teams in Lincolnshire - and King’s Lynn - are building some good, strong sides,” Lakin told The Standard.
“But it’s our aim to make sure we keep up with them throughout the season.”
With so many local rivals, the pressure is on the fenland teams to deliver this season.
Banter between Boston, Spalding and Holbeach fans is intensifying.
However, Lakin - who previously managed Bourne, says all rivalries will remain professional, despite Holbeach taking three of his highly-rated assets.
“John (Chand) is an ambitious manager and a charismatic chap,” he said.
“He may have taken some of our players, but I still get on well with him.
“He’s trying to do a job, just like we are.”
Turning his attentions to Spalding, Lakin dismissed that the Tulips are worried about the threat the Tigers pose to them.
He added: “Spalding have had two or three years struggling in the UniBond (Evo-Stik) League.
“They’ll want to get the crowds back to the Sir Halley Stewart Field.
“Stan and Bob are doing that and they’ll be a good side this season.
“Promotion is their main focus, they don’t have any interest in what Holbeach do.”
Discussing Deeping, Lakin added that he thinks Tuncay Korkmaz is building a strong squad, despite Boston being able to woo target Danny Matson to Tattershall Road.
“Tunge is doing something good at Deeping,” he added.
“He’s got a side I think could cause problems to Spalding and Holbeach - there’s everything to play for.”