Ryan Jarvis on the Linnets, Ian Culverhouse - and the fire that still burns
- Credit: Archant
In the second part of a chat with Ryan Jarvis, Chris Lakey asks the midfielder about life at King’s Lynn Town under Ian Culverhouse
“The York game – I loved that game. There wasn’t loads of football played but the intensity was through the roof, first class.”
So, no doubting Ryan Jarvis’s desire to kick on for a while yet then...
Jarvis is 33, pushing 34, and in three seasons at King’s Lynn Town has finished with one promotion, one play-off final defeat and, now, one hand on a successive promotion that is in the lap of the footballing gods, better known as the suits that run the National League. The York game is relevant because they are the two outstanding teams in the National League North, without question, and both are hoping for some good fortune on this curtailed season.
Jarvis was one manager Ian Culverhouse’s first permanent signing at The Walks, moving from Lowestoft in the summer of 2017, and has established himself as a holding midfielder of the highest quality. In a team that has golden boot winner Adam Marriott, and his popular sidekick Michael Gash, Jarvis perhaps doesn’t get the recognition he deserves. It doesn’t seem to matter: he’s perfectly happy with his lot and while he has ambitions to move into coaching and management, there is no desire to hang up the boots.
“No – I haven’t got any plans to stop,” he says. “I raised my fitness work two or three weeks ago and I feel good. I had a couple of little niggles through the season, towards the end of it. I had a really bad back spasm in a cup game against Dover – I came on, it was a cold night and you can warm-up and sometimes you are not right and I got a back spasm and that hampered me.
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“But I feel good – where I play I don’t need to be quick, it’s more the speed of thought in my mind so I feel good and I have no plans to retire as yet.”
Which segues nicely into the coaching aspect: Jarvis has been increasingly involved in pre-match reparation and his day job is as a coach with Norwich City’s the Community Sports Foundation. Coaching is clearly in the plan.
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“Yes, definitely. Obviously my full-time employment is with the CSF and I coach a group of under 19 players there with Lapps (Simon Lappin) and Ads (Adam Drury) and I love the job. It is something I would love to get into in senior football.
“The manager (Ian Culverhouse) asked me last year if I wanted to join in with bits and bobs of coaching, help out here and there and I said I’d love to – but obviously my main focus is still playing.”
Coaching and playing are currently in Culverhouse’s hands - and you will get no complaints from Jarvis.
“Without blowing smoke up his backside, he is the best coach I have worked under in my whole career. He has been class to work under.
“It’s the attention to detail on every opposition we play. It might be a different way to start the game, in different periods throughout the game where he might ask you to do something different.
“He might change the formation once or twice during the game. And everything is geared up to a certain game – even three or four weeks before a game he will be looking at doing something.
“But at the end of the day, everything comes down to what we do, not worrying about other teams.
“We are known as a footballing side, but sometimes through the season we have gone, ‘right, for half an hour we are going to pump it up to Gashy and play in the opponents’ half and once we do that they can’t get out. We might say then Rory (McAuley) will get on the ball from the halfway line and we start playing from there. There are other times when we have played from the edge of our box. Sometimes the fans don’t like it, but it sucks teams on to us and leaves gaps in behind and you exploit that way. I remember Blyth at home, they played a back four or five that was so high, basically on the halfway line. We knew that was going to happen so you just spin it round for Mazza (Adam Marriott) who is going to run clean through on goal.
“The last three years have been a joy - the most I have enjoyed it. It doesn’t matter what level you are at, this team for the level we have been is the best team I have played in for the football we play. I would love to have been in a team like us higher up in the pyramid, playing the football we do. It is great.
“I couldn’t have asked for any more - especially the football.
“The lads are the greatest set of lads and Cully has been class. I love playing under him and working with him on the training ground, the bits of coaching, in his office and learning so much from him.
“And the football has been so enjoyable.
“We all come from different parts and you share car schools and they are brilliant – after three years of winning most of our games you go home or on the way to training and the atmosphere is brilliant with the lads.
“It has been the best three years.”
If Jarvis has his way, there will be plenty more to come too.