Castellan so keen to extend King’s Lynn Town feel-good factor at Stratford Town
- Credit: Ian Burt
Defender Matty Castellan is desperate to cap a dream 24 hours by strengthening King's Lynn Town's play-off push at Stratford.
The 21-year-old can celebrate signing an 18-month contract by helping the Linnets move into the top five for the first time this season. If Lynn win, and other results go their way, they could even move up to third in the Southern League Premier Division. And Castellan wants to keep the feel-good factor going as he looks to build on last night's decision to commit his immediate future to Gary Setchell's side.
'We've put ourselves in the position that we're in and credit to ourselves,' said the centre-back, a September arrival from lower-level Swaffham Town.
'So we need to make sure we make full use of the position that we're in now. We need to pick up three points and keep this run going. There's a really good vibe around the place and I'm really happy here.
'It helps that the team has got a lot of local players and we all connect really well, get on really well, and it just helps when you're out on the field as you feel more part of a team and are working for everyone, not just yourself.'
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Castellan has started Lynn's last six games – including Saturday's outstanding 2-0 win at play-off rivals Dunstable Town. If he keeps his place this evening in Warwickshire, the player known for being a cool customer, will make his 23rd appearance in the colours of his hometown club.
Setchell said: 'It's great. Matty's rise has been meteoric really. We thought he'd come in and train with us and develop, a little back like Dylan (Edge, who also recently signed a contract) has, but he's been thrown in at the deep end and he's gone from strength to strength in my eyes. He's only had one or two sticky halves here or there. The other 20 or 30 he's been outstanding. He's learning – he's got to learn to get his arms up because he keeps getting fat lips – and he's a good lad. He's a good trainer, a pleasant lad, but he's got that nasty streak in him on the pitch which is what you need to play at this level against men.
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'Don't be fooled by his sort of innocence if you like, because when he crosses the white line he's a true competitor. If you'd have said to Matty, Dylan myself, or anyone, that two lads from Swaffham would have come across and signed contracts you wouldn't have believed it.'
David Bridges (injured) will definitely miss this evening's clash while his fellow midfielder Michael Clunan (illness) and frontman Toby Hilliard (ankle) are injury doubts. Young striker Edge will travel with Lynn, who are just one point outside of the play-off positions.
Centre-back and captain Sam Gaughran, who lost his place in the team to Castellan last month, was outstanding in a holding midfield role as a second-half substitute at Dunstable. That performance, coupled with the possible absence of Bridges and Clunan, could see him start for the first time since January 5.
Setchell added: 'It's another string to Sam's bow, that's where he played (as a youngster). He has been in my ear a little bit telling me he could do it. What Sam will do is what Bunts (Richard Bunting) used to do and sit in there. If we play that way it's not a bad job for him. You need a football brain and he's brave and he's good in the air too. He's even told me he can play left-back. He's desperate to get the shirt on and that's what you want and what we've got that this season.'