Former professional Phil Gulliver heaped praise on Gary Setchell’s desire to win after signing for King’s Lynn Town this week.

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The Linnets manager pulled off his marquee signing of the summer on Thursday after he convinced Gulliver to leave Corby Town and drop two levels to play for his Walks outfit.

The 29-year-old, who played for former England boss Steve McClaren when he was a trainee in Middlesborough’s reserves, had signed a deal to stay with the Blue Square North Steelemen.

But after Graham Drury was replaced at the helm by Ian Sampson, the centre-back decided it was time for a fresh start. And he admitted his arrival in Norfolk is down to one man: his new boss.

Gulliver, who reportedly attracted interest from St Neots among others, said; “The manager is the main reason I’m here.

“His ambition and drive to get me here was second to none. He got me over on Tuesday and sold the club to me and created a fantastic opportunity to join. He showed me around and it’s a proper old-school stadium which creates a good atmosphere.

“It’s not like I’m coming to a second-rate club. King’s Lynn are a big team in non-league circles with a great fanbase and everyone knows about them.

“I’d done four seasons at Corby and there’s been a change over there. Speaking to couple of friends that Gary and I have in common also helped sell Lynn to me.”

Setchell described the arrival of the powerful defender, who has played more than 100 games in the Football League for a host of clubs including Rushden & Diamonds and Hereford, as a “huge signing.”

Bishop Auckland-born Gulliver, who lives in Corby, admitted his ‘northern’ knowledge and professional background should be able to help Evo-Stik new boys Lynn next season.

He said: “I came across big physical teams in the Conference North at Corby and it’s all about how you manage yourself and your team.

“I hope to bring some experience and knowledge of playing the game to help the management staff assist in the younger lads’ progression. I know a few of the teams in the league and I’ll know a few players but being a northern lad doesn’t mean anything really in one sense.

“Lynn will be a good challenge for me. Dropping down some levels meant I wanted to join a club with a lot of ambition and King’s Lynn definitely have that.

“I’m not saying I’m going to come here and lead everyone to the title but everyone wants to win at this club so I’m looking forward to it.”

The 6ft 2in defender, who described himself as a “winner,” linked up with his new-team mates on Thursday and could make his Lynn debut on Tuesday during their first pre-season game of the summer at UCL outfit Yaxley.

Elsewhere, left-back Jordan Yong has turned down approaches from Histon to remain at Lynn but back-up keeper Matty Hails has left the club due to work commitments.

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