Former City starlet King believes putting Linnets first will help fulfil his ambitions
PUBLISHED: 07:00 12 January 2018 | UPDATED: 09:29 12 January 2018
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Following spells in Thetford and Dublin since his Norwich City release, Cameron King tells David Freezer about his hopes for getting his career back on track after signing for King’s Lynn Town.
The Canaries contingent at King’s Lynn Town added another member this week, as Cameron King looks to get his career moving back in the right direction.
After a three-month spell in the League of Ireland with Shamrock Rovers the 22-year-old playmaker has returned home to Norfolk to join the promotion push being constructed by Canaries legend Ian Culverhouse at The Walks.
King joins former academy team-mates Cameron Norman – alongside whom he won the FA Youth Cup in 2013 – and Michael Clunan, as well as fully-fledged former City players Simon Lappin and Ryan Jarvis.
The Bury St Edmunds-born midfielder, who grew up in the Thetford area, did make his full debut for Norwich as a substitute in a League Cup game at Shrewsbury – but left in 2016 when his contract expired.
“I was with Cameron Norman since we were about 10 years old, and Mikey (Clunan), so I know a few of them and the way they play, so that’s something that interested me a lot,” the former Scotland U21 international explained.
“They play good football, with the likes of (Simon) Lappin and (Ryan) Jarvis, so they are definitely trying to play the right way and that really appealed.”
That style of play is working well for the Linnets so far this season, currently sitting top of the Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division and dreaming of a place at step two of non-league.
King considered joining Lynn last summer but decided to broaden his horizons with a stint at Shamrock, making eight appearances for the Dublin side, having performed well for Thetford Town last season.
“I learned a lot from it because, other than Thetford, it was my first real first-team football in front of fans and stuff, week in, week out,” he explained.
“The only thing was I was played out of position, I was out wide on the right wing, so I ended up drifting into the 10 role a lot because that’s more natural for me. I prefer finding the holes in between the other team’s midfield and defence.”
Although he didn’t score during his time in England, Shamrock did secure third place in the Irish top flight.
“I found it was up and down in terms of quality,” King continued.
“The top five or six were good and had some real good players. Rovers had a good side, we were just quite inconsistent. We had some great games and then some where we just couldn’t find the back of the net, but we managed to finish top three so that’s enough for a Europa League place.”
Before that spell, King had performed well at Thetford, scoring 16 goals in 45 games in the Thurlow Nunn Eastern Counties Premier Division as he found his feet after leaving the Canaries – albeit at step five of non-league.
“Thetford have some good football players, too good for that level,” the former Old Buckenham High School pupil reflected.
“I tried to enjoy it and it was easy to enjoy it because they are my hometown club, so it was easy for me to get there when I just wanted to play some football.
“You do get frustrated with getting kicked sometimes but you just have to pick yourself up and keep going, learn to avoid challenges because a lot of tackles come flying in.”
That will certainly still be the case in the physically intense Southern Premier with Lynn, as the club’s rapid rebuilding continues to push towards owner Stephen Cleeve’s dream of a place in the Football League.
“I had a month to decide and I’ve trained hard in the last month but they have a lot of players that I know and Ian Culverhouse likes to play the game the right way,” King said. “It also means I’m living at home, which is maybe something I need right now. There are still about 20 games this season so this seems a natural fit.
“When you go abroad you can get forgotten about but if you’re playing in England people are always watching how you are getting on.”
Inevitably a player with an FA Youth Cup win, U21 international experience and a category one academy education on his CV still hopes to make it as a professional.
However, King has experienced enough of the rocky road back to the professional game already to know he has a huge amount of hard work ahead of him to make that happen.
“I don’t want to over-think it,” he concludes “I just want to concentrate on who I’m playing for and getting results, take it game by game, give it my all and maybe something will come out of it. If you look at the league there are a few teams behind us who have got three or four games in hand so we need to keep winning as many games as we can.”
The next stage of his journey could begin in Somerset tomorrow, when the Linnets take on mid-table Frome Town.
• Watch King in action for City’s development squad above, in a highlights package produced by the player’s Norfolk-based representatives Full Contact