'I think we can go another one' - Linnets boss

Ian Culverhouse & Paul Bastock on the touchline against Norwich City

King's Lynn Town boss Ian Culverhouse and assistant Paul Bastock pitted their wits against Norwich City's Daniel Farke in their opening pre-season game - Credit: Ian Burt

Ian Culverhouse believes King’s Lynn Town can go up another level in the football ladder. 

The Linnets boss oversaw consecutive promotions at The Walks before the mess of last season when the pandemic meant much of the campaign took on 'dead rubber' status. 

But the club has now moved to a full-time set-up for the first time and Culverhouse believes the harsh lessons of life in the National League have been learned. 

The Lynn boss is targeting a mid-table finish in a division that reads like a who’s who of lower league clubs – then it’s a case of building. 

“I know (owner) Steve (Cleeve) is ambitious and he wants to try and take it as far as we can,” said Culverhouse. 

“There were times last year when I thought we might have hit the ceiling, because every club has a ceiling point where you think ‘where can we go from here?’ 

“I must say by going full-time and getting the squad we have got together, I think we can go another one, I really do.  

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“It is going to take time, we are going to have to be patient with it. We had a free hit last year, we have dipped our toe in it. This year we have got to be more competitive and go out on to the pitch and give teams a game. 

“With the squad we have put together I think it will be that way and then keep building, keep building, keep building foundations below us as well with the academy and the younger players and then this can be a sustainable football club in future and grow and grow and grow.” 

Culverhouse is a great believer in maintaining momentum – successive promotions were built on it. 

“If you get momentum going it can carry you through and it is important we start to win games, we are hard to beat and we don’t give away soft goals and with that stuff that happened last year we improve on and we become better and better as the time goes on.  

“I know we will improve on last year and we will be a challenge for most teams this year.” 

Ethan Coleman on the ball

Ethan Coleman is carrying a calf injury - Credit: Ian Burt

Culverhouse – speaking to the club’s new Youtube channel – confirmed that Ethan Coleman, Dan Bowry and Cameron King have all picked up pre-season knocks. Midfielder Coleman has an impact knock on a calf and Bowry a tight hamstring while King is fatigued. 

“That comes with the territory,” he said. “It’s early days of pre-season and bodies are getting used to the full-time climate now.” 

Midfielder King is likely to be at the centre of Culverhouse’s plans, and the former Norwich City man will be well looked after. 

“He is very wary of his body and he doesn’t want to go down the same line as he did last year, so we are very mindful of that and we speak to him constantly, on a daily basis. 

Cameron King on the ball

Linnets midfielder Cameron King is assessed on a daily basis by staff at King's Lynn Town - Credit: Ian Burt

“He had to sit out the Gorleston game because of fatigue. We are hopeful, we have to look after him, we have got to take care of him because he is an exceptional talent and is a big part of our plans this year and if we get him to a good level of fitness he will be massive for us.  

“The players have already recognised that because of the weeks he has had with us; they know he is a quality player and we are lucky enough to have him here. We just have to monitor him daily and make sure he is ready to deliver everything out on the pitch.” 

Lynn head to Stratford Town at the weekend for their fifth pre-season game, after defeats to Norwich City and MK Dons, a 7-0 win at Gorleston and a draw at Chelmsford City on Monday. 

“The first two games we always knew it was going to be about containing and staying in games because of the level of opponent we were playing,” said Culverhouse. “Then at Gorleston it was about us controlling the ball and putting our little patterns into place and we did that well. So there are some good signs there, they have taken on board what we are looking for very quickly. We still have a long way to go, but everything is building to August 21 when we have Southend here.”