FOOTBALL: As a quarry manager in West Norfolk, Neil Fryatt is unlikely to unearth many diamonds.

But in his other role as manager of King’s Lynn Town u18s it is his main priority – digging out raw gems to polish into shape for the Linnets’ production line.

South Wootton-based Fryatt, 52, has been involved with the club for most of his life in a variety of positions.

But it is his current job that brings him most satisfaction.

Fryatt, who served as assistant to previous Linnets first-team manager Gary Setchell for almost five years, said: “I much prefer coaching the youngsters to being involved with the first team. Yes, you still get some big egos but there’s less chance of bad habits being ingrained and you can mould them better.”

Fryatt is a Linnet through-and-through, having walked through the door at The Walks at 14 and out again at 30. He went back at 39 and, other than a short break last year, has been there ever since, as player, coach and manager, serving the A team, reserves, first team and now the youth team. He also turned out for Swaffham Town and Downham Town and did his level 1 and 2 coaching badges at Swaffham and UEFA B licence at Lynn, working with Matty Henman and Keith Rudd.

“I’ve got experience of the game from the age of five to 52 at all levels,” said Fryatt, who is keen to pass on that knowledge to his young charges, working alongside Sean McQuaid and goalkeeper coach Joe Simpson.

King’s Lynn Town Youth team are looking resplendent in their new kits, sponsored by Your Local Paper. Operating manager Gary Bush is
pictured presenting a shirt to team captain Charlie Rudland. With the squad is YLP director Alan Taylor. Team manager Neil Fryatt said: “Thanks to Alan, Gary, Steve and all at Your Local Paper for sponsoring the lads’ kits. Their support of the team is much appreciated and it is good to see a local company backing a local team and showing such great
support for the area.” Mr Taylor said: “We are delighted to be supporting the Linnets. As a community newspaper, we are the home of local sport at all levels and look forward to a great partnership. We wish them the best of luck for the rest of the season.”Pictures: MATTHEW USHER.

“We’re at the start of a two-year development programme so have a young squad of 16-17 year olds who’ll still be eligible to play in this age group next season,” explained Fryatt.

“I’ve only got four players left from last season with the bulk of the squad coming through from the Community Elite u16 squad.

“That’s the route the best talent locally will come from but, once the colts league season gets under way, I’ll be watching to see what’s out there and make sure no one slips through the net.

“It’s a big step up from u16 to u18s, not just physical stature but also with more structured coaching. We always go out to win and my players have to have hunger and desire but, realistically, my ambition is just to get players through to the reserves and on to the first team.

“If we can get two or three youngsters up into the reserve team every year, that’s my goal.”

Dylan Edge, Kieran Phipp and Ryan Harnwell are all youth team products making their way up through the club ranks and Fryatt is confident many more will follow.

“I’ve already spotted a couple of players that I think can go all the way. They have the right attitude and, if they keep developing and work hard, they’ve got a great chance.

“We always go out to win and my players have to have hunger and desire but, realistically, my ambition is just to get players through to the reserves and on to the first team.” Neil Fryatt

“Players develop at different paces and some might not make their mark until they are 19-20, rather than 16-17, so sometimes I have to take a punt on what I believe, usually based on how good their attitude is.”

Fryatt is happy with the support he gets from first team manager Ian Culverhouse and said: “He believes in the youth team and wants to develop a pathway through the reserves to the first team.

“He’s said that if you’re good enough, you’re old enough and has left it up to me and Rob (Back, reserve team manager) to bring on our players the best we can for the next step.

“Ian is very hands on and after every game speaks to us and talks things through. He has left the systems we play up to us because he believes players should get the chance to experience lots of different methods so they get a more rounded view of the game.

“It’s all about development and many of the players get the chance to play in different positions to see how adaptable they are.”

Linnets Youth 2017/18


10 Holbeach Utd A D 1-1

16 Peterboro Sports H L 1-5

22 Wisbech St Mary A

30 Downham Tn H


w/c 4 AFC Sudbury A (FAYC)

14 Peterboro Sports A

27 Deeping Rgrs H

Entry to The Walks for youth team matches is £5, concessions £4, junior (12-18) £2.
U11s free. No extra charge for seats in the stand.