Lynn legends ready for the next challenge
- Credit: Ian Burt
Ryan Jarvis believes he has unfinished business in football – and wants the same sort of challenge he faced when joining Lynn four years ago.
Jarvis had become increasingly involved in the coaching side at The Walks under Ian Culverhouse, but insists he isn’t ready to hang up his playing boots just yet.
And while the prospect of one day returning to Lynn does appeal, the former Canary has just one target – to spend Saturday afternoons and Tuesday nights on the pitch, not beside it.
That will be music to the ears of a number of clubs who have already made overtures to Jarvis, whose work as football development officer with the Norwich City Community Sports Foundation makes it impossible for him to commit to Lynn’s full-time future.
“I would love to play here next year – unfortunately that is not the case so I will have to give my energy and passion somewhere else,” said Jarvis, who watched Saturday’s game from the stand because of a knee injury.
“I am not looking for status, or money or anything like that – I just want to go and enjoy the next project
“This last four years it has felt like there has been something to push for, there has been a goal, an end vision. Training was always at the highest intensity and it was a proper project.
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“And I want that again - I don’t want to just turn up to play, I want a proper, good project, I want to feel that – when I speak to manager next week, I want to feel they are building something and I want to get stuck into it.”
At 34 years old, Jarvis’s footballing brain makes up for any loss of pace, but when the day does come to hang up his boots, coaching is an obvious next step – possibly at Lynn.
“I would absolutely love it,” he said. “I love coaching, I have a real passion for it now. But I love the competitiveness of Saturday-Tuesday and that will never leave me,” he said.
“I love coaching through the week, working with the youngsters, but you can’t beat Saturday afternoons or Tuesday nights and that feeling after the game when you have the three points.
“That is still driving me and that is where I see myself in a few years to come – but it still feel I want to play
“I know in my own mind I am not ready to stop yet.”
Michael Gash, likewise, is likely to have a busy week on the phone, as he looks for his next footballing fix after leaving Lynn for the very same reason – the difficulty in fitting work as a full-time footballer with his day job as a tree surgeon.
Gash and Jarvis were given a guard of honour before kick-off – the big striker having been handed the captain’s armband by Michael Clunan just moments earlier. The crowd was on its feet to acclaim his goal just before half-time and then, with seven minutes remaining, the ground shook as he was substituted, given a final bow to all four sides of The Walks.
“I am not retiring,” said Gash. “I don’t know – the phone’s been busy so I just have to weigh up my options. There are quite a few clubs who have already got in contact but I said I have a game to focus on and once the weekend is over, I will talk to people next week.
“There are some good teams who have come in, but I haven’t spoken to anyone.”
As so often in football, there were a few tears and a lot of biting of lips, but both Gash and Jarvis will be remembered for one of the most successful periods in the history of the club, which has seen it one step away from the Football League – something not even those two giants would have envisaged four years ago when they walked through the door to a place that would become their second home.