Former Norwich City midfielder David Bell reveals why he joined King’s Lynn Town

David Bell, right, in League One action for Notts County at Leyton Orient earlier this season. Picture: Dan Westwell David Bell, right, in League One action for Notts County at Leyton Orient earlier this season. Picture: Dan Westwell

Saturday, January 25, 2014
10:00 AM

David Bell may have graced countless Football League pitches but he still insists he’s still exicted about making his King’s Lynn Town debut this afternoon.

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The former professional midfielder will make his first foray into the non-league game after having his contract cancelled by mutual consent at League One Notts County. And even though his former home grounds include now-Premier League Carrow Road, the 30-year-old can’t wait to make The Walks feel like home.

Bell said: “To be honest I am looking forward to it. Once you get out on the pitch everything else around you goes out of the window.

“It’s still 11 versus 11, on grass, and with a round ball. That’s what we live for as footballers. We just want to get out on the pitch and play. I’ve got two really good friends there (at Lynn), the club’s on the up, and I’m ready for the next stage of my career.”

The one-time Norwich City, Coventry City and Luton Town ace played with current Linnets Gary Mills and Rob Duffy during his early days with Rushden & Diamonds. That’s where he first met Lynn boss Gary Setchell and the Irish player admits the trio played a huge part in him returning to Norfolk to play his football.

“To be frankly honest, if it wasn’t for Setch, Millsy and Duffers I probably wouldn’t have signed for Lynn,” said the player who has made 13 appearances for County this term.

“I spoke to all three of them on separate occasions and importantly they all said the same thing. More than anything, they said I’d enjoy my football at Lynn. For me, that’s the most important thing for me at this stage of my career.

“Setch was coming to the end of his career when I was at Rushden and he was brilliant with the younger players. He was always there to give advice. So he’s one of the main reasons I’ve gone to King’s Lynn. I know how he is as a person and how he’ll want things done.”

A string of injuries have forced Bell to realise his long-term future no longer remained in the professional game. Moving to Lynn, who host Ilkeston in the Evo-Stik Premier Division, means he can now concentrate on forming his next career in football – as a coach.

The Kettering-born midfielder said: “Playing full-time meant I was playing most of the day and then coaching in the evenings. It was difficult.
“I’ve had some frustrating years in terms of injuries and I realised my body probably didn’t have another five or six years in it to play every day. But can I play part-time for another four to five years? That’s certainly the aim. The most important thing for me now is enjoying my football and getting those coaching badges so I can progress with that ready for the next chapter in my life.”

The ex-pro’s arrival has created a buzz of excitement and a big crowd is expected as back-to-back promoted Lynn look to keep up what initially seemed an unlikely push for the play-offs.

Setchell, as well as being able to give Bell his debut, has striker Sam Mulready back at his disposal now he has recovered from a hamstring problem. Three players who won’t be involved through are Ewan Clarke, Chris Ward and Massiah McDonald. Clarke has gone to Lincoln United on a month’s loan, Dereham Town have signed Ward for the same period, while McDonald sits out the sixth match of his seven-game ban.

For updates from today’s game follow @GavinCaney on Twitter.

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