FOOTBALL: It’s all systems go for King’s Lynn Town as they look to go one better than last season, writes Chris Milsom. 

After suffering play-off final heartbreak against Slough Town in the Southern Premier League, the Linnets will be hoping to improve after their transfer to the new Central Premier League.

They kick-off at home to Biggleswade Town tomorrow (Saturday), 3pm, under the charge of new manager Simon Clark. He replaced Ian Culverhouse, who announced he would be departing The Walks just weeks before last season finished.

Also on the departure list have been several key players from Culverhouse’s squad. As expected, Cameron Norman moved into the Football League, signing for Oxford United, while midfielder Cameron King joined Conference North side FC Halifax Town. 

Strikers Leon Mettam and Tom Siddons both joined Spalding United, with central defender Tom Ward linking back up with Culverhouse at Grantham Town.

Player/coach Simon Lappin also left The Walks, joining his former Norwich City team mate Adam Drury at Wroxham.

Squad players Dylan Edge and Tom McLeish were also released, both signing for Dereham Town.

But far from finding his resources depleted, Clark has used the opportunity to boost his ranks with some top-class replacements.

Kalern Thomas has signed from Kettering and will be joined in the Linnets’ back line by Rory McAuley, who joined from Lowestoft Town.

Young attacking threats Jordan Richards (Gainsborough), Nathan Stewart (Norwich United) and Harry Limb (Burnley) all joined the club as well.

Clark also added former Football League player Lee Beevers to his squad and backroom staff as he joined as player/assistant manager.

The new division will see Lynn lock horns with some old foes and renew some old rivalries.

Familiar trips to St Neots, Hitchin, Royston, Banbury, Biggleswade, Redditch, St Ives and Stratford remain, with derby games against Lowestoft Town, Needham Market and Leiston bringing some local flavour to the fixture list.

Old rivals Kettering Town play host to the Linnets on Tuesday and previous meetings with Coalville have always been tasty encounters.

Linnets fans will also be licking their lips in anticipation of matches against relegated Tamworth.

Lynn completed their pre-season preparations with a comfortable 2-0 win over Spalding United at The Walks on Saturday.

The Northern Premier League side turned up at The Walks without a full squad and had to borrow Lynn players Matty Castellan and Nathan Stewart, before being joined by Dion Frary and Eoin McQuaid in the second period.

Michael Clunan powered home the opening goal just before the break and Frazer Blake-Tracy’s cross was diverted past his own goalkeeper by a Spalding defender midway through the second half in a game where Lynn were rarely troubled.

Michael Duggan was called on in the second half to make some good saves to keep the score respectable but Clark and his team now have their minds firmly on the start of the league season and the arrival of Biggleswade tomorrow.

Central Premier League

2018

August:

Sat 11 Biggleswade Town H 

Tue 14 Kettering Town A 

Sat 18 Tamworth A

Sat 25 St Neots H

Mon 27 Lowestoft Town A

September:

Sat 1 Stourbridge H

Sat 8 FA Cup 

Sat 15 Halesowen Town A

Sat 29 Banbury United H

October:

Sat 6 Hitchin Town A

Sat 13 Stratford Town H

Tue 16 Leiston A

Sat 20 AFC Rushden & Diamonds H

Sat 27 FA Trophy 

November:

Sat 3 Alvechurch A

Sat 10 Royston Town H

Sat 17 Barwell A

Tue 20 St Ives Town H

Sat 24 Bedworth United H

December:

Sat 1 Redditch United A

Sat 8 Coalville Town A

Sat 15 Rushall Olympic H

Sat 22 Biggleswade Town A

Wed 26 Lowestoft Town H

Sat 29 Kettering Town H

2019

January:

Tue 1 Needham Market A

Sat 5 Leiston H 

Sat 12 Royston Town A

Sat 19 Barwell H

Sat 26 St Ives Town A

February:

Sat 2 Alvechurch H

Sat 9 AFC Rushden & Diamonds A

Sat 16 Redditch United H

Sat 23 Bedworth United A

March: 

Sat 2 Coalville Town H

Sat 9 Rushall Olympic A

Sat 16 Hitchin Town H

Sat 23 Stratford Town A

Sat 30 Halesowen Town H

April:

Sat 6 Banbury United A

Sat 13 Tamworth H

Sat 20 St Neots Town A

Mon 22 Needham Market H

Sat 27 Stourbridge A

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