Linnets face sound of silence on return to The Walks
- Credit: Ian Burt
King’s Lynn Town finally return to action today with a clean bill of health, two new players – and the unwelcome sight of empty stands at The Walks for the visit of FC Halifax.
Last time out 650 fans roared Lynn to a welcome point against National League leaders Torquay – their presence for the first time this season clearly a boost.
But with Covid refusing to go away anytime soon, the turnstiles are closed again, and Lynn have to get used to that sound of silence.
"Of course they will miss them,” said director of football, Rob Back. “Everyone who was there (against Torquay) saw that it made a massive, massive difference, even though there was probably only six, seven hundred but to me that was like the York game, the atmosphere was incredible.
“They will be missed, but as I have said the lads are professional, they will try and block that out and put a performance in for the football club but, yes, we are going to miss them.
“I have found that the hardest thing with the lockdown, the fans not being there. They have missed so many big games like the first game in the National League, Yeovil, the FA Cup game at Portsmouth, Port Vale, that has been really tough for them. We are a community football club, with lots of families, and it is hard because that is what they want to do at the weekend is to go and watch the team and get away from work and things like that and switch off from everything else, so it is disappointing.
“But like I have said before we have all just got to be sensible and hopefully they will be back at The Walks very soon.”
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It will be a test of character for the players, but that’s not something that has been lacking: new signing Alex Kiwomya alluded to it earlier this week when he spoke of the welcome he received at his first training session on Tuesday.
“A great set of lads I have got to admit,” was his verdict. “They have welcomed me with open arms which is always a massive thing and I am really looking forward to it.
“It was good I really enjoyed it. We got the ball down and played which I love to see and I love to be a part of. Everything was good, passing, moving and getting on the ball so it was brilliant.”
Lynn’s big Christmas schedule - a double header against Notts County and a trip to Chesterfield – was ruined by Covid. Assistant manager Paul Bastock has recovered fully after confirming on Christmas Day he had received a positive test result so the whole squad had to isolate for 10 days, which has meant no training.
“The lads have had a program,” added Back, speaking after the squad returned on Tuesday. “We have got a sport scientist now in Ben and he has done a really good job this season so they got a fitness program for over Christmas. They have come back fit, the lads look good. and we have got another session on Thursday before Saturday’s game so hopefully we won’t be behind but we are going to be going for it on Saturday against Halifax. Whether the crowd is here or not we will take it to Halifax and try and get that result.”
Linnets fans face the mouth-watering prospect of a speed merchant on each wing.
Alex Kiwomya’s arrival this week means that, with Norwich City loanee Simon Power, manager Ian Culverhouse has pace to burn.
Kiwomya ran under 11 seconds for the 100m at the age of 14, while Power has been recorded at an incredible 37.8kmh.
Power tends to operate mainly down the right, although has a preference for the left, while Kiwomya is happy on either side.
"I am right footed winger, although some managers prefer me to cut inside because I have got quite a good delivery on my right where I can whip it in far stick, but also on the right side I can put it back stick as well so it is quite versatile in that sense,” he said.
How Culverhouse will use the two won’t be apparent until this afternoon, but they could turn out to be major weapons.