'If we get it wrong it will be harsh punishment' - Culverhouse

King's Lynn boss Ian Culverhouse - Credit: Ian Burt

King's Lynn Town boss Ian Culverhouse - adapting to a full-time model at The Walks - Credit: Ian Burt

There’s a very new feeling about King's Lynn Town this summer - and it’s not because of 'you know what' in the background. Chris Lakey reports on the club's attempt to join ‘the establishment’ 

It’s about roots. The ones that grow out of the ground and the ones that mean establishing a position. 

Roots feature heavily in what Lynn are currently trying to do, from training facilities, to their own pitch, to digs in town for players, to the need to build on the free hit of last season and establish themselves as a National league side. 

The seeds are being sewn in all areas right now:  training will be at Heacham football club’s excellent facilities a few miles up the road, until the club can source a place of their own. The pitch at The Walks needs some work – looks like a new groundsman is on the way. 

And then there are the new players who are buying into the club’s first full-time model. It is a huge leap of faith, one which manager Ian Culverhouse is adamant cannot be entered into half-heartedly. It’s why he couldn’t offer new deals to Michael Gash and Ryan Jarvis, because full-time work and full-time training just don’t mix. And it may mean one or two other players’ futures lie elsewhere because of the commitment to a whole new way of life for King’s Lynn Town. 

New King's Lynn Town signing Munashe Sundire - Credit: Ian Burt

One of the King's Lynn Town new boys - Munashe Sundire - Credit: Ian Burt

Midfielder Ethan Coleman, goalkeeper Paul Jones, midfielder Munashe Sundire and most recently, striker Junior Morias, have all decided to lay down their roots at Lynn – which means some will be living in club accommodation. 

More players are on the way. Culverhouse reckons it could be five or six more new faces – that is the biggest rebuild he’s undertaken at The Walks. 

“I think so – because of us going to a full-time model and we have got to get it right,” he said. “We had a free shot last year. If we get it wrong this time it will be a harsh punishment. There has been a lot of pressure, but I am really enthusiastic about the names we have got on our hit list and if we can get them through then I think it will be exciting times. 

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“I am really excited about it. The people we have gone in for have been really enthusiastic to come and listen to us. 

“We have got to get this one right and the way things are going at the moment to go full-time as well, is a massive, massive step for this football club and we have got to get it right.” 

While the revolving door turns with incomers, by necessity there will be some exits too. 

“There are still a couple of decisions to be made on a few of them because some of them have got very, very good jobs and they are trying to work around that,” said Culverhouse. 

“What I don’t want to do is go into it half-heartedly – if we are going to do this model we have got to do it properly, everyone has to be committed to it.  

“There are a couple we are still waiting on, but the majority are still with us. Obviously a few will move on because of game time.” 

Who stays and who goes at Lynn?

The big picture is the consolidation of that valuable National League status, establishing roots as the club builds towards the biggest test of all, the Football League. Fail this season, and the full-time model could be a very expensive white elephant. 

The hard graft begins on July 10, at Heacham FC, a 14-mile hop towards the coast, which is now the players' workplace during the week. 

“We are really pleased and grateful that Heacham have come in to help us because it gives us a base because we haven’t had a base, but that is somewhere we can go. They have given us everything there – it is somewhere we can call home for a little while, and we can just turn up and use the facilities and that will be massive to us – we will be doing double sessions and to have somewhere we can constantly go to and call home and report to is going to help.”