Gary Setchell hailed the arrival of former professional Phil Gulliver as a “major coup” after the defender signed for King’s Lynn Town last night.

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The Linnets boss was delighted to capture the signature of the 29-year-old centre-back after he decided to swap Blue Square North Corby Town – who play two levels higher than Lynn – for his Walks outfit.

The 6ft 2in powerhouse played more than 100 Football League games before joining Corby and Setchell believes his arrival is his finest piece of business yet.

The Lynn manager said: “It’s a huge signing. This lad could go and play in the Conference now, no doubt about it. He was captain of Corby last year in the Conference North. He’s not in his 30s yet, he’s a 100pc winner and he’s got a lot of experience at a lot of good football clubs.

“It’s been hard work to get him and I’ve had to pull on my Rushden contacts to do it because he joined them as I left but we had a lot of mutual friends. When Sam (Gaughran) left I knew I had to raise the bar really and there was a slim chance of getting Phil. I’m delighted.”

Bishop Auckland-born Gulliver, who lives in Corby, was a trainee at Middlesborough and starred for the club’s reserve team when they were managed by former England boss Steve McClaren.

He played for Blackpool, Carlisle, Bournemouth, Bury and Scunthorpe before being released in 2004 and signing for Rushden & Diamonds. Gulliver went on to play for Hereford, and Diamonds again, before signing for Corby, who he usually captained, in 2008.

During his time with the Steelmen he once marshalled a defence that went 530 minutes without conceding a goal and had signed a deal with the club for next season before Lynn put in a seven-day approach for his services.

Setchell said: “He will bring leadership. He’s a powerhouse. He’s a winner. A lot of clubs were after him so this is a major coup.

“Yet again the chairman’s (Keith ‘Buster’ Chapman) backed me and I’ve got to say thanks to him for that. Every time I go to him he comes up trumps for me and this is a major, major signing.

“People will make their own judgments but he’s got a great CV, he’s been coached properly and brought up through Middlesborough, he’s played more than 100 Football League games and played at the top end of non-league football. What more can you want at a Step Four club that’s just been promoted? It’s a fantastic signing.”

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