‘We’re an hour from the nearest road!’ - King’s Lynn Town boss on glorious isolation
PUBLISHED: 10:44 15 July 2020 | UPDATED: 10:44 15 July 2020
Ian Culverhouse believes the National League big-boys are going to get a shock when they head to promoted King’s Lynn Town next season.
The so-called footballing outpost in west Norfolk has been anything but in recent seasons, with Culverhouse taking the Linnets to within one unlikely step from League football.
It’s a position even the most diehard fans could not have dreamed of just a decade ago as the new King’s Lynn Town rose from the ashes of a club which had been forced to shut its gates because of financial problems, and relaunch itself in the UCL Premier Division.
Under Culverhouse’s management, The Walks became what football managers everywhere like to call a fortress: an unbeaten home run of 17 months laying the foundations for current success.
“We’re two hours from anywhere, we’re an hour from the nearest road!” joked Culverhouse. “Our record before we finally lost to Kidderminster was fantastic - pivotal to what we are about.
“To go 17 months without losing at The Walks was a credit to the town. Yes, the players win the points, but the people of King’s Lynn are central to what we do. The fans buy into it all. They come out and support us, which really drives us on - they help make it a tough place to come to.
“It’s going to be a culture shock for some of these big clubs to come to our ground. We can’t wait for the fixture list to come out, that is the moment when it will all become real.”
Culverhouse wasted no time in preparing a squad for the National League challenge, but while he has kept the core of his squad, the one name still missing is that of Adam Marriott, scorer of 28 league goals last season.
Marriott has been offered a new deal but is hoping for what may be one last crack at league football – and if he does leave, he goes with Culverhouse’s best wishes.
“It’s not just his goalscoring, his all-round game is fantastic,” Culverhouse said in an interview with the National League’s official web site. “We’ve had him for two years now, he is always first to mention the big man (Michael Gash) next to him who puts his body on the line.
“Maz has pulled the goals out and yes there are whispers of him moving on and back into pro football. If he does, he goes with our blessing - he has been fantastic for us.
“Don’t get me wrong, we would be a better side with him in it but if he gets his dream move, then great for him. He’s been fantastic for this club.”
Culverhouse has been true to his word and kept most of the players who have helped his success during his two spells at The Walks.
“I always believed that if you keep your core group together then you always have a chance,” he said. “They know how you work, and they set the standards. They know the demands and they know what’s required.
“We’ll do that again. We have a couple of other targets, and hopefully we can get them over the line. We have seven or eight players who have been with us for a while now.
“But it’s going to be very, very hard. We are going to be a part-time club in pretty much a professional league - we’ve earned the right to have a crack at it, so we’re going to give it our best efforts.
“We really can’t wait for it all now. It’s a big league with big teams and hopefully we won’t be lambs to the slaughter. I know this group will give it their best shot. What an adventure we are going to have!”