Adam Marriott - the road from rejection at Norwich City to goal machine at King’s Lynn
PUBLISHED: 14:35 07 February 2020 | UPDATED: 14:35 07 February 2020
Ian Burt Photography
Adam Marriott has been scoring goals for fun at King’s Lynn Town – Chris Lakey sat down for a chat with the man himself
Adam Marriott is the hottest goal scoring property in English football - but as a youngster at Norwich City he was considered too small to succeed.
Marriott has scored an incredible 28 goals in 26 league appearances for high-flying King's Lynn Town this season.
That's a goals per game ratio that puts most to shame - Premier League top scorer Jamie Vardy is on 17 goals, in 23 starts while the best players in Europe's top leagues all lag behind the Linnets hit man.
It could have been different, had Marriott, 28, turned his back on the game when his ambition to play for Canaries was ended in his mid-teens
"I did have an ambition to play for City, to be fair," said Marriott. "I played centre mid back then and I got released because I was too small. So you have to find your own way - it is harsh, football, and they said I was too small and not good enough. But you pick yourself up and you have to go again. I have had a pretty good career to be fair, I have worked hard because you don't get given anything, you have to keep grafting and working hard. Now I'm at King's Lynn and everything is going well."
Marriott is hardly the most vocal of people, on or off the pitch - although he has most to shout about.
Marriott is a goal scoring phenomenon. He has scored 28 goals in 26 league appearances (all starts), plus a couple more in the FA Cup. He scored 27 in Lynn's promotion campaign last season to win the Golden Boot.
Marriott's contract is up this summer and he's laid back about his future which, of course, could depend on how Lynn finish up in the National League North, which they currently lead.
The man himself has had a taste of the Football League with Cambridge United and Stevenage - a return quite obviously holds an appeal.
"It does, definitely, everyone wants to play as high as he can. I am happy here to be fair so either way the chairman made it pretty clear he didn't want to let me go and I don't really know if anything is going to happen really, it is pretty quiet.
"I like it here so we will just see what comes up in the summer. I have just got to keep scoring goals and doing the business for King's Lynn. If something did happen in the summer so be it, but worse comes to worse hopefully we are promoted and potentially I could stay."
That will be music to Lynn fan's ears, but scoring for fun hasn't always been the way for Marriott.
Born in Brandon, Marriott learned his trade at Norwich City. His team was Newcastle United, Alan Shearer his hero. He played alongside current Lynn team-mate Rory McAuley as well as keeper Declan Rudd and midfielder Tom Adeyemi.
"I always used to go and watch the first teamers - obviously we trained at Colney and so did they. They would always be on the pitches and that and I would have an eye on them to see what they were up to.
"Iwan Roberts was my hero back then, he was scoring plenty of goals. I went to the Millennium Stadium to watch the play-off final in 2002. So yes, some good memories. Some good players at Norwich but obviously I didn't quite make it to the first team but, so be it. I have made my own way in the game.
"I got released at under 14s and went to Cambridge City and then it all merged to Cambridge United, the youth system went to Cambridge United. I did my scholarship there, signed a pro deal so I had a good few years there."
Marriott scored goals for Cambridge City like there was no tomorrow, and did the same at Royston (25 in 30 appearances). Sometimes it doesn't work, like at Boston where he just didn't take off. Lynn came calling in October 2018 and the rest, as they say, is history.
"Boston obviously didn't work out how I wanted it to. We weren't doing too bad at the time I was playing, I started the season and probably got one goal in the first four or five games, then got left out and didn't really get back into the team. I asked if I could go on loan and the manager there said, 'no you can leave if you want' so I spoke with Rory because I knew Rory from Norwich and Cambridge days and he said good things. They obviously knew about me from playing against them at Royston, I had a good season there. That is really how it came about. I came here and just hit the ground running, I have always backed myself to score goals and as soon as I scored the first few I got on that run and didn't stop and it is still going well today to be fair."
So how does it work at one club and not another?
"It is just a good club. Everyone is in it together, on the pitch we all fight for each other, we don't ever give up. I know quite a few of the boys anyway which helps. I knew Rory, I knew Gashy (Michael Gash), I knew a few of the other boys and we all get on great so it just clicks. Sometimes it clicks and sometimes it doesn't and luckily for me, probably a good time in my career, 27 or 28, it made it a hell of a good season. It would be nice to finish the job off; obviously today it didn't go to plan but you have them days sometimes and it is how you respond but I am sure we will be fine."
There's no doubt that manager Ian Culverhouse has a lot to do with Marriott's form.
"I have spoken to players who used to play with him when him and (Paul) Lambert were at Norwich and they just praise him. He has just got the most respect from the boys. He has obviously been at the top and he knows what he is talking about. He is always changing different things in games and adapting to the circumstances and the boys are always on board with it. We don't mess about when he is talking, you listen. He is brilliant to be around to be fair. Just to listen to his ideas and it helps the boys going on to the pitch."