Norwich City favourites Grant Holt and Simon Lappin relishing reunion with Ian Culverhouse at King’s Lynn Town
Former Norwich City favourites Grant Holt and Simon Lappin have been hailed as the “two biggest signings” in the history of King’s Lynn Town by chairman Stephen Cleeve.
The duo were both part of the Canaries squad which brilliantly earned back-to-back promotion from League One to the Premier League under Paul Lambert but will be turning out for the Linnets at the third tier of the non-league pyramid this season.
Both have signed season-long loan deals to bolster City legend Ian Culverhouse’s squad at The Walks, who are fourth in the Southern Premier after seven wins and a draw from their opening 10 matches.
“This has been the conclusion of several weeks worth of talks with Simon and Grant – and I’m delighted that they’ve both come to the club,” said Cleeve, as he looks to keep Lynn’s push for promotion to the National League set-up on track.
“Ian’s been very keen to bring them both here, I think they’re going to add a lot to the team and they are probably the two biggest signings that the club has ever made.
“So the football at the moment is great and with the addition of Grant and Simon it’s going to be even better. I’m delighted that they’ve chosen to come here.
“I think we’re progressing in the right manner and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.”
Canaries legend Holt captained the Lambert teams to such success and scored 15 goals in the Premier League in 2011-12 but at 36 years old the combative striker is now turning his attentions to earning his coaching badges.
He hopes to learn from Culverhouse, who was Lambert’s assistant during that era, but also contribute on the pitch having scored seven goals to help Hibernian win the Scottish Championship title last season.
“I’ve had a lot of offers, I’m very lucky because I’m getting to an age now where I can decide what I want to do and achieve,” said Holt.
“Offers have come in and I’ve looked at them, spoke to the family as you always do and I came to the conclusion that I’m at an age now where I want to look at doing something different.
“It’s been ongoing for a while now, I’ve been speaking to Ian and in the end we thought it was the best prospect for myself and what the club is trying to achieve.
“I’ve got a fantastic opportunity to come in, work with Ian, who I’ve known for a long time now and who’s an excellent coach and a good manager, and I’ve got the opportunity now to come here and do coaching as well as playing so everything has kind of fitted in nicely.”
Both go straight into the Linnets’ squad for tomorrow night’s home game against Hitchin Town in the Southern Premier Division, although both are not fully match fit yet so are not guaranteed starters.
For Lappin in particular finding fitness will be crucial, after a ruptured Achilles tendon restricted the left-sided defender or midfielder to just seven appearances in the National League with York City last season.
“It’s part and parcel of the game that you pick up injuries and I’m very fortunate to get to the age of 34 before something happened like that but that’s in the past as far as I’m concerned,” the Scot said.
“I’m just delighted to be here, I was speaking to Ian over a couple of weeks, someone I’ve known for quite a while as Grant said so we know what to expect and what we’re getting with him.
“If you asked the group from years gone by (at Norwich) the coaching we had was unbelievable so that was the biggest sway for coming here.
“It was a family decision as well, similar to Grant, I spoke to my wife about coming here and I just want to get back to playing football. We’re both professional in terms of training and keeping yourself right because you never know when the call is going to come.
“I’ve been over to train with the lads and see how things are working so I’m just absolutely delighted to be here and hopefully I can play my part on the pitch as well as off it.”
• Tickets for tomorrow night’s match at The Walks are priced at £12 for adults and £10 for concessions, with seating an extra £1. See KLTown.co.uk for full details