FOOTBALL: King’s Lynn Town Football Club held a press conference to announce the appointment of Simon Clark as the new first team manager on Wednesday, writes Chris Milsom.
The former Football League defender, 51, will be a familiar face to some Linnets supporters as the centre-half made 21 appearances for the former club in 2005 before leaving to take over as player-manager for Isthmian Premier Division club Leyton.
He spent three years in Singapore as player-coach and then player-manager for the side Woodlands Wellington.
While there Clark obtained the Asian Federation A licence as a coach, following up by obtaining the English FA, UEFA A qualification on his return to Europe.
Clark joined Lincoln City in the Centre of Excellence in April 2007 where he spent a year coaching before being appointed Centre of Excellence 9s-16s co-ordinator at Peterborough United. Whilst at the ‘Posh’ he went on to coach the youth team and reserve team as well as being the club’s chief scout.
In January 2008, Clark re-joined Lincoln City as a youth team coach. He later became chief scout and first team coach for the club. In September 2009, Lincoln City agreed to part company with manager Peter Jackson with immediate effect with Clark being placed in temporary charge for a month before Chris Sutton replaced him as manager.
Clark went on to work as a scout and match analyst for his former Peterborough United boss Darren Ferguson at Preston North End.
‘A fantastic coach, he’s got great experience and tactically he’s very good’ – chairman Stephen Cleeve on new Linnets boss Simon Clark
He was appointed manager of Stamford in May 2010 before departing The Daniels for Worksop Town in July 2011 where he was in charge for two years. Clark then linked up with then-Championship side Charlton Athletic as first team coach before joining Notts County as academy chief.
Clark will be joined in the home dug-out by the returning Sam Gaughran, who will be his assistant manager.
Gaughran left the Linnets to join Royston Town back in January but has since retired from playing to concentrate on the coaching side of the game.
Chairman Stephen Cleeve said on Clark’s appointment: “It’s been a long process for me.
“I’m pleased it’s over. I’ve been talking with Simon for over four weeks.
“Simon has a great footballing philosophy – it’s very important to me that we continue the King’s Lynn tradition and the way the team has been playing and take us to the next level.
“Simon has been at Charlton and more recently Notts County.The great thing is he’s a fantastic coach, he’s got great experience and he’s tactically very good.
“The people I’ve spoken to about Simon tell me wonderful reports, and I’m looking forward to see the team develop and what he produces on the pitch and how it comes across for next season.”
It was also announced that defender and home town lad Ryan Fryatt had put pen to paper on a new two-year deal. Fryatt has made 286 appearances for the club, scoring 29 goals.
Fryatt said: “I’m over the moon to have extended my stay.
“Having played well over 280 games for my home town club is incredible and I’m looking forward to pulling the shirt on for many more.
“I’m looking forward to the new season. I’ve spoken to Simon and Gaughs, and they seem to have plenty of fresh and new ideas. I can’t wait to get started. There’s no better feeling than pulling on your home town colours and playing in front of your home town supporters.”
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