Natty Stewart on moving on from King’s Lynn Town and loving life at Norwich United
- Credit: Archant
Norwich United striker Natty Stewart talks to Mark Armstrong about no regrets with King’s Lynn and how he’s thriving under the pressure of leading the line at Plantation Park so far this season
Natty Stewart’s return to Norwich United has helped the forward rediscover his love for the game.
The 21-year-old spent two years at King’s Lynn but a lack of playing time saw him lose motivation and consider taking a break from football.
However, after being released by the Linnets this summer a move back to the Planters has kick-started Stewart’s career with Steve Eastaugh’s side top of the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division.
The youngster is in the running of achieving his target at the start of the season and hopes to show Lynn what they missed out on.
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“I set myself the target of being top scorer in the division at the start of the season,” he said. “I’m back playing where I want to be. I really had lost my motivation (after King’s Lynn) and I was going to take the rest of the year off playing football - I just lost my love for the sport.
“But when I got released a lot of clubs came in for me and it was nice that there was still a lot of belief in me.
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“I went to Dereham but now I’m back at Norwich United and I’m really enjoying my football again.”
Stewart harbours no grudge towards the Linnets and insists he learned a lot during his time working under Ian Culverhouse.
“I will never have a bad word to say about my time at King’s Lynn,” he added. “They have done remarkably well and I was really proud to be part of that club.
“When you have someone like Adam Marriott in front of you then it’s hard to get game time. It was frustrating but I just did everything by the book and stayed professional.”
Stewart thanked Eastaugh for placing faith in his talent and this has been rewarded with seven goals so far this season.
“When Steve approached me about coming back he told me that he wanted me to be the major striker,” he said. “Myself and Steve have always had a good relationship. He was the one who encouraged me to go to Lynn and have a go at playing higher - he helped me decide to make the leap.
“He has always had a lot of faith in me and I thank him for that. He is helping me reach my potential - there is pressure on me to score goals but I like that and it’s bringing the best out of me.”
Norwich are currently the pacesetters in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division, two points head of Wroxham, who have played two fewer matches.
Stewart believes there is enough quality for the Planters to sustain a challenge for promotion.
“We’ve made an excellent start to the season and we want to keep that going,” said Stewart, who will be leading the Planters’ front line at Hadleigh this afternoon. “We were in the league above the last time I was at Norwich and that’s where we want to get to again.
“The boys have been superb. We’ve shown a lot of character in games and come back from losing positions several times.
“There’s a lot we can achieve this season.”
Elsewhere in the division Wroxham are without a game this afternoon whilst third-placed Kirkley & Pakefield travel to Woodbridge Town.
Unbeaten Stowmarket travel to Mildenhall Town whilst Gorleston head to Stanway Rovers. Swaffham entertain Newmarket Town.
Dereham return to league action when Coggeshall visit Aldiss Park.
The Magpies came through their FA Trophy clash at Sutton Coalfield a week ago thanks to a last-minute penalty by Rhys Logan.
“It was a great win for us,” said manager Adam Gusterson. “I don’t think we played particularly well, but to go away from home with a depleted squad and pick up a win was very satisfying for us and demonstrates we now have good strength in depth.
“At 2-2 I wanted to ensure we got to penalties where I had full confidence in (goalkeeper) Elliot (Pride).”
Dereham are sixth in the Isthmian League North table while their visitors, with one win in four games, are 17th. Gusterson knows a good performance is required.
“I would be surprised if we got a result against Coggeshall without a good performance,” he said. “We played very well last season against them but I don’t think it will be used as an incentive for us. It’s a new season and they’ve recruited a number of high-profile players. They will want to ensure we don’t beat them this season so we have to be prepared for that. It will be another tough game but one we are looking forward to and hopefully we can get the result.”
Jamie Godbold has urged his players to approach the match against Stratford “with confidence” as they look to continue their unbeaten run at home in the league.
The Trawlerboys beat Needham Market 2-1 in the Suffolk Premier Cup final second leg on Tuesday night, but lost 4-3 on aggregate.
It’s ninth v 10th in the Southern Premier Central League – although the teams effectively find themselves in joint fourth as they are among seven teams locked on nine points after six league games.
Godbold said: “While Tuesday fells like a loss it is important to remember we beat a team in the top two. Of course we are gutted that we could not give our supporters a trophy to cheer about.
“But we have to take the positives from that game, as we beat a really good side, and that bodes well going into Saturday. We can add Jake Reed to that squad, so we must go into the game with confidence.”