Saints snare one of non-league’s most highly-rated defenders
- Credit: Archant
Lee Allinson believes St Albans City have got one of the best defenders in non-league after signing David Longe-King from his Biggleswade Town side.
The former Saints' assistant, and son to City boss Ian, took the 24-year-old to Langford Road when he became boss last summer and helped convert him from a midfielder to a defender.
And as the Waders flew up the Southern League Premier Division Central table, only missing out on the play-offs in the penultimate game of the season, Longe-King was their stand-out player.
But the opportunity for him to move back to Clarence Park, where he made eight appearances in 2015, was enough for the father and son to cast aside their agreement and do a deal.
Lee Allinson said: "Me and my Dad have an agreement not to touch each other's players unless we both agree.
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"But David's a fantastic player, different class. I rate him as highly as Marvin Ekpiteta who is at Orient.
"There has been lots of interest in him but we allowed him to speak to St Albans as that's where he wanted to go.
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"I had a call from the Coalville manager who said we had lost the best defender in the league."
Allinson believes one game in particular suddenly elevated the player into football's consciousness.
"When we played AFC Fylde in the FA Trophy he was up against Danny Rowe, arguably the best player in the National League and one who finished as the second top goalscorer," said Allinson.
"And David had him in his pocket. They ended up moving him to centre-midfield to get him out of his way."
"He needs to feel the love sometimes but he reads the game so well and he's quick and strong as an ox."
And while St Albans City's gain is most certainly Biggleswade's loss, the Town boss is delighted that to have played his part in the defender's improvement.
He said: "I try and unearth these talents and while I'm gutted he's leaving, I have no greater pleasure in seeing them move on to bigger and better things.
"From a selfish point of view I think that reflects well on me and the club.
"Where I get the hump is when they make sideways moves for more money.
"But if I can help them progress then I have done my job."