Classy Castellan shows why he is worth a King’s Lynn Town contract

Gary Setchell is in a positive mood about the Linnets chances. Picture: Ian Burt

Gary Setchell is in a positive mood about the Linnets chances. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

Cool customer Matty Castellan's dream season continued as King's Lynn Town moved to within a point of the play-offs.

The defender, who turned 21 earlier this month, was playing two levels below Lynn for Swaffham before his hometown club swooped to secure his services in September. Boss Gary Setchell admitted at the time the centre-back was one for the future but Castellan has wasted little time in proving his class.

Saturday's excellent showing at the heart of Town's defence alongside the equally impressive Kern Miller was the young star's 19th appearance of a term which just continues to get better and better.

'It's unbelievable really, he's playing great,' Lynn's boss said of Castellan.

'I've offered him a contract this week (prior to Saturday). He's going to speak to me, he's thinking about it and hopefully he'll sign it because I honestly believe, like Dylan (Edge, young striker), he's a massive one for the future.

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'It's key for us to keep the nucleus of this squad together because if we do and they grow – as they'll know what to expect when we go away from home – then we are going to have a very good side here in 18 months if we keep adding to the squad as well.'

Castellan and Miller have started the last three games together at the heart of the improving Linnets' defence. Their form has been enough to leave skipper Sam Gaughran rooted to the substitutes' bench following Setchell's decision to haul him off at half-time during Lynn's 3-2 defeat against Merthyr.

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Castellan replaced him that night and hasn't looked back since offering an air of composure beside the athletic Miller, 24.

'Sam will come again and he's working on his fitness,' said Setchell of his 25-year-old captain.

'Football's brutal sometimes. Against St Neots (January 2) Sam was probably our best player but he had a bad half, by his standards, against Merthyr (January 5) and Matty's come in and not put a foot wrong.

'Sam's been great. He's given Matty and Kern advice and he's doing what I'd expect him to do as club captain. He's not sulking, he's right behind the lads and I guess he's champing at the bit for his chance. But at the minute, when we're defending how we are and we are keeping clean sheets, that is football unfortunately.

'That's the beauty of having a good squad. When one of them gets suspended or injured, what a player I've got to go back in at the heart of the defence.'

Lee Smith's 29th-minute header had looked like proving to be the difference against Cirencester Town until substitute Toby Hilliard wrapped up the victory in injury-time by completing a slick counter.

Click here to read a match report, and see a gallery of Ian Burt's pictures, from Saturday's game.

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