Teacher Wall aims to keep giving opposition strikers a lesson as King’s Lynn Town target UCL title
Teacher Stuart Wall hopes to continue handing out lessons to opposition strikers as King's Lynn Town target United Counties Premier Division glory this season.
The Northampton-based sports lecturer has impressed with his calm but no-nonsense approach to defending at the heart of Gary Setchell's title-chasing defence this campaign.
Whether he has been paired with captain Ross Watson or promising youngster Ryan Fryatt, the 24-year-old has excelled, largely due to his professional approach.
The former Coventry City Academy star, who played for the Sky Blues' reserves before joining Peterborough United, admits he is desperate to help the Linnets earn promotion and doesn't mind who he plays with in the back four to achieve it.
'You can never have too much competition for places at a club with the ambition of Lynn. You need players pushing each other for places,' said Wall.
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'As defenders we've all got our own unique selling points. Ross is a leader and he likes bellowing out encouragement on the pitch where I don't do that as much. Ryan is still young and has a bit of developing to do but he's going to be one heck of a player if he keeps progressing the way he is.
'He's maybe not as physical as Ross and I but he's got a lot of quality on the ball and likes to bring it out of defence. Jamie (Thurlboure) dropped in a left-back against Northampton Spencer and did a good job filling in for Jordan (Yong) who has had a brilliant season defensively and going forward.
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'Ashley Deeney is also lightning quick and there's plenty of others who can do a fine job too. They key word about our defence is collective. We're a unit. It doesn't matter who is in the back four, we work hard in training and on the pitch to make sure we get it right.'
Setchell's side have conceded just nine goals away from home in the league this season - a record only bettered by fellow title-challengers Long Buckby.
Wall believes his style of defending may have helped his side shore up defensively following his arrival from Bedford Town last summer.
Wall said: 'I'd say I'm an old-fashioned defender and I've probably moulded my style of play on players like Terry Butcher and Tony Adams who I used to enjoy watching when I was younger.
'I always give 110pc and stick my head in front of anything for the cause and for Lynn. I've got experience of playing games at a higher level which gives me an element of calmness in terms of pressure situations which you get plenty of at Lynn.
'When we play around Northampton it's quite nice as my work colleagues and friends come and watch so in a sense they're like home games for me. But I wouldn't say I try any harder to impress when they're watching.
'My professional background means I try and prepare in the same way whether we're playing in front of a big crowd or one man and his dog. I take an element of pride in myself and I always want to do well.'
'My parents come and watch everywhere which is nice and to be honest I don't mind travelling that bit further for our actual homes games. It's always a pleasure to walk out for Lynn, at Step Five, in front of 600 people plus.'
Wall scored his seventh goal of the season at Northampton Spencer but took no added pleasure in giving his side's attacking players a lesson in finishing on the day.
'We missed chances but I didn't give anyone any stick when I scored - apart from Rob Hughes who is a good mate,' said Wall.
'I bantered him because I'm a centre-back and I've scored seven goals this season while he's a midfielder and only scored four. Our strikers have pulled us out of trouble so many times, thankfully this time it was my turn to help.
'Jack Defty's a legend and Jason Turner is trying hard and will come good. It's only a matter of time before he starts banging the goals in.'