“See you soon, @officialKLtown!”
A simple Twitter post from the official feed of Yeovil Town Football Club on Tuesday.
Now rewind the clock to January 2018 – while the club behind the account
@officialKLtown were playing in the Southern League Premier Division – and look at another of the friendly Somerset outfit’s welcoming words.
“You said you’ve joined ‘the biggest club in the world’ so it’s only right you start your United career in the biggest away dressing room in League Two – *maybe,” was the message that went alongside a picture of Huish Park.
That tongue-in-cheek content was aimed at Alexis Sanchez as he prepared to make his Manchester United debut in the FA Cup fourth round at Yeovil. Yes, you read that right. Yeovil.
Now The Glovers are preparing to lock horns with Alex Street – a Sunday League hero to his CSKA Emneth pals and a goalkeeper who signed for re-formed King’s Lynn Town when they started life in the United Counties League Premier Division. He’s barely known outside of Norfolk, let alone around the world, and he doesn’t earn £300,000-a-week.
But Yeovil aren’t rubbing shoulders with Sanchez and co anymore. They’re standing side-by-side with Street and the Linnets in the National League.
In 2013/14 Yeovil were dropping out of the Championship while the Linnets weren’t moving anywhere in the pyramid after a mid-table finish in the Northern Premier League Premier Division. Even with the relegation considered, they were four levels apart. Worlds apart. And now the fixtures are out the unbelievable reality of where Lynn are is becoming reality.
Saturday, October 3, Yeovil are coming to The Walks. After Lynn’s back-to-back promotions, Yeovil are coming to The Walks.
It’s not Histon, it’s not Kettering Town, it’s not Boston United on Boxing Day this year either. It’s Notts County!
The only sadness is the coronavirus pandemic, and the restrictions it’s causing to our lives, has taken some of the shine off. We should be thinking about 3-4,000 people squeezing into Lynn to roar on the town’s first National League fixture.
Yet we’re still waiting to find out how many supporters will be allowed into the historic match and when we can buy tickets for it.
Testing is still taking place at fixtures and as it stands (as of Tuesday night) clubs at the Linnets’ level and the one below still have to play behind closed doors. Soon they’ll be open for some fans – and Yeovil.
Promotion for a quite Andy official
It has been quite a journey for Andrew Wilson.
The 43-year-old only started refereeing in January 2015 and, while you still might see him gracing some North West Norfolk League pitches again this season, he will also be enjoying his first outings in the professional ranks.
As well as taking the middle for Thurlow Nunn League games (Steps Five and Six of the non-League pyramid) and being an assistant in the Pitching In (Northern Premier and Isthmian) Leagues (Steps Three and Four), he will also be running the line in the second tier of the women’s pro system.
When he’s not too busy owning and running Ikon Fashions in King’s Lynn with his wife Sarah, he will be putting in the hard yards at FA Women’s Championship fixtures.
Wilson’s rise shows what opportunities are possible by picking up the whistle.
It helps that he’s an excellent official too. He has taken charge of games I’ve played and has impressed – mainly because he communicates with players so readily.
Chance for students still there
Thanks to everyone who has spread the word.
Thanks to those who have said kind things about our plans to give something back to the next generation.
But the good news is there’s still plenty of time to pass on, and in turn take up, the opportunity.
We’re offering one chance a month for a year, so 12 in total, for a student aged between 14 and 21 to have this column as their own.
They’ll work with myself (mainly) and sports editor Steve Penny to get a whole page in the paper dedicated to their words.
As I explained while chatting to Rob Butler about the Linnets briefly on BBC Radio Norfolk on Monday night, we’re doing it because we’re a newspaper that is proud to be a part of the community it serves.
Now it’s your turn to do the rest. If you know a student who dreams of being a sports journalist, make sure they enter. If that’s you, get in touch.
Students from Marshland, King Edward VII (KES), KL Academy, St Clements, Springwood, College of West Anglia, Downham, Smithdon and Iceni Academy are all automatically eligible based on their educational location.
For further details please visit yourlocalpaper.co.uk/sport, email email@example.com or Tweet @GavinCaney.
• There will be no Caney’s Corner in next week’s edition. The column will return on September 25.