All change for Culverhouse as he plots Lynn's future

Ian Culverhouse and Paul Bastock on the sidelines at King's Lynn Town

King's Lynn Town boss Ian Culverhouse shouting out instructions - Credit: Ian Burt

If Ian Culverhouse is ever asked to sum up season 2020-21 in just four words, it might just be: “Goodbye – and good riddance.” 

The King’s Lynn Town boss has endured just about every sort of emotion – and obstacle – during his two periods in charge of the club. 

The highs were successive promotions – the lows were, arguably, spread over a whole season as he felt the side effects of the side effects of the worldwide pandemic. In a nutshell, Lynn wanted to stop playing when the second wave hit hard, but then realised the punishment that National League officials would inevitably impose would be counter-productive. So they played on, able to only because players were furloughed, to be replaced by cheap but enthusiastic square pegs in round holes. 

Culverhouse was only half joking after one particular game when he pointed out a rarity – that for once he hadn’t had a debutant on the pitch. 

Those post-match media interviews dried up – it’s hard to put too much credibility on describing a performance which meant nothing given that relegation had been scrapped. 

So this lunchtime, Culverhouse will name a team for the game against Aldershot and at the final whistle, no matter the final score, will be absolutely delighted to see the back of this season. 

And then the hard works continues. 

Two players – Michael Gash and Ryan Jarvis – will be making their goodbyes. Two others – Ethan Coleman and Munashe Sundire - have joined. 

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That’s the tip of the iceberg. 

As Lynn prepare to take the leap into full-time football, it is vital the squad becomes more competitive: it’s hard to gauge this season’s efforts - Lynn have at times played some excellent football, rarely matched by the results – given the backdrop. 

“We have made inroads, we really have, and then obviously with the amount of players that will be out (this summer) we have got to see what becomes available,” he said. “In the pecking order we are way down on the list and after speaking to players recently I don’t think we are high on the priority list, but we will wait and be patient and if the right player becomes available then we will definitely make an inquiry.” 

Coleman’s decision to return – having stood out during his loan spell as one of those ‘square pegs’ - is a coup and one which might just persuade any ditherers that The Walks is a good place to play football. 

 “He has had a lot of offers as well,” said Culverhouse. “He has enjoyed his time here, he likes the way we try and play and it is great for him to come to us and we will try and improve him.” 

One of the more remarkable things to come out of the season wasn’t just the way an almost new side was cobbled together, but the way those incoming players performed. Lynn left a trail of hard luck stories, embellished by opposition managers acknowledging the quality.  

Former Norwich City striker Simeon Jackson in action for King's Lynn

Former Norwich City striker Simeon Jackson - one of the 'square pegs' that fitted in at King's Lynn Town - Credit: Ian Burt

A decade ago Simeon Jackson was ripping it up for Culverhouse at Norwich City. He volunteered his services during the crisis and contributed four goals in five starts and 11 sub appearances. His brace at Wrexham a week ago was typical of his predatory instincts in the penalty area. 

Culverhouse wouldn’t be drawn on a possible return next season, but acknowledged that the Canadian’s attitude was reflective of all the square pegs. 

"I can’t speak highly enough of them, all of them in that dressing room,” he said. “They have been tremendous since the day they walked in and they have just played for the shirt and the opportunity and, like I’ve said, there is a lot in there playing for nothing for us. 

"Simeon is a model pro - even in training he does everything right, he is a leader and leads by example. He does everything precisely and the younger boys in there have recognised that and he has had a hell of a career and that is the way they have got to lead their lives.” 

Ian Culverhouse speaks to the media after the game. Credit - Ian Burt

Ian Culverhouse speaking to the media - Credit: Ian Burt

Whatever happens, the future will be different as Lynn take on the full-time model. Very different. 

 “And that is why we have got to get it right because if we are going to do it we have got to do it right,” added Culverhouse. “I am not going to do it half-heartedly and then stop within two weeks because we can’t do it, everything has got to be in place and we will do it as professionally as we can.”