‘I couldn’t believe it to be honest’ - what joining King’s Lynn Town means
- Credit: PA
Ian Culverhouse will take the opportunity to bed in two new players – with an unexpected spare Saturday afternoon - Chris Lakey spoke to the new arrivals
It’s not quite what two new arrivals will have expected of their first taste of Saturday afternoon football at King’s Lynn Town.
Instead of a big home FA Cup tie against Notts County, Kairo Mitchell and Danny Lupano will be put through their paces during a training session, integrating them quickly into the practices of manager Ian Culverhouse ahead of a midweek National League game at home to Wealdstone.
Mitchell and Lupano were unveiled on Thursday evening, just as news broke that County had to pull out of the cup clash because of a coronavirus outbreak, thereby handing Lynn a place in the first round draw on Monday, when the possibility of a tie against Leaguer One or League Two opposition awaits.
The news overshadowed the players’ arrival to some extent, but Culverhouse will be hoping they make a bigger impression on the field.
The Lynn boss has added Mitchell to his squad to go some way to making up for the absence of experienced striker Michael Gash. There won’t be many Gash replica kits out there, but Mitchell, 23, doesn’t lack confidence.
The 23-year-old came through the ranks at Leicester City, has represented and scored for Grenada on the international stage and has some knowledge of the Linnets after featuring for Nuneaton Town and Coalville.
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“From the beginning when I joined them (Coalville) they knew my ambitions, to keep pursuing a career at a higher level and try and progress in football as far as I can,” said Mitchell, who was released by Leicester at the age of 20, having been with the Foxes since he was nine years old.
“I am here now and I am happy about that. I spent pre-season at Dartford and things didn’t work out, but as one door closes another one opens and I am happy to be a King’s Lynn player.
“I couldn’t believe it to be honest. Obviously I was trying to play in a higher division than I was last season and just keep progressing. So to come to Conference Prem and get an opportunity to prove myself here is a massive blessing to be honest.”
Mitchell is a 6ft 4in striker - but insists he doesn’t fit into the ‘big striker’ category.
“I think that is the main thing everyone looks at with my height and my stature,” he said. “They think you are just a big man, a target man, but I have got more to my game than flicking the ball on and holding it up. I like to come short, I like to get involved in the play, I have got good feet for a big man, I am comfortable being in one-v-one situations, if I find myself out wide I always back myself to beat a defender. I am a very attacking and creative-minded player. I always try to play forward when I can and the main thing, to score goals - that’s what I am here to do at the end of the day.”
Mitchell knows all about the Linnets’ philosophy: he featured in the Coalville side beaten 4-1 at The Walks in March 2019, in the Southern Premier League.
“When we played against King’s Lynn when I was at Coalville the main thing we really picked up on was how the guys played football here,” he said. “At Coalville we tried to do things right and play football as well. There was one game we played here and we struggled and we found out they are a good footballing team and they passed us off the park in that instance, but that is the kind of team I know that I can progress in and it will help me progress as a player being in a footballing team trying to do things right and trying to play the right way.”
Lupano has joined Lynn on a month’s loan - with an option for an extension – from Hull City.
The 20-year-old Belgian had a loan spell in Northern Ireland with Derry City last season. He moved to England at the age of 16 and joined Solihull Moors before joining Birmingham City in 2018. After leaving Birmingham he joined Hednesford Town before having trials at Wolves, Leicester and Hull where he signed on a professional deal.
“I am excited at the opportunity and the chance and I am hoping to pay it back on the pitch,” he said. “I am a young player, only 20, so it will be great to learn from all of the experienced players in the squad - it will be good experience and good to learn from them.”
Director of football Robbie Back said: “We are really pleased to bring in both Danny and Kairo. We have been looking for a front man now for a few weeks after losing Gashy with illness and hearing he could be out for a few more months. Kairo will bring in something different to the other strikers we have and gives us another attacking option. He played well against us for Coalville a few years ago so we know what he can do.
“We wanted to bring in another defender with Aaron Jones picking up a knee injury but thankfully this is not as bad as first feared. Danny did very well for Derry last season and there were keen to take him back again on loan. We would like to thank Hull City for their assistance in the signing.”