FOOTBALL: He might not have completed the necessary paperwork to become a King’s Lynn Town player yet, but the touchline presence of Kyle Callan-McFadden on Tuesday seems to have given the team a lift, writes Chris Milsom.
The six-foot centre back warmed up on the pitch before the Linnets’ 2-0 win at Barnet and is expected to be confirmed as a new signing once international clearance is completed.
Former Norwich City player Callan-McFadden was released by League of Ireland Premier Division side Sligo Rovers last week and they put out a statement to say he was moving to Lynn.
Highly rated as a youngster in his native Ireland, Callan-McFadden joined the academy at Carrow Road at the age of 16 after impressing on trial and being named the FA of Ireland u17 player of the year – ahead of current England star Jack Grealish and then–Manchester United player Sam Byrne.
In 2013, Donegal-born Callan-McFadden won the FA Youth Cup with City, beating Chelsea over two legs in the final. He made his first-team debut for the Canaries in July 2014 in a friendly against OGC Nice and his competitive bow came in their 3-1 League Cup victory against Crawley Town the following month. However, he was released by Norwich at the end of the 2014/15 season.
A Lynn spokesman said: “We are aware that Sligo Rovers have released a story relating to Kyle Callan-McFadden. “We hope to have the relevant paperwork completed as quickly as possible before he joins up the Linnets.”
The 25-year-old defender spoke on the official Sligo club podcast about his move to Lynn being good for his family.
“During the first lockdown I got the phone call,” he said. “I know the manager (Ian Culverhouse) as he was part of the first-team coaching staff at Norwich when I was there. We spoke about it as a family and we thought it was right to move back to England.”
Callan-McFadden played almost 100 games for Sligo and also spent a short spell in the USA with Orlando City B. He has 30 caps for the Republic of Ireland at u17, u19 and u21 level.
λ King’s Lynn Town’s Emirates FA Cup second round tie with Portsmouth next Saturday will be shown on the BBC Sport website and BBC iPlayer, as well as BT Sport digital platforms.
The match at Fratton Park will have a 3pm kick-off and the clubs will receive a broadcast fee of £37,500 for the live screening. The winners of the tie will also receive £25,500 in prize money, with the losers collecting £8,500.
Lynn will have extra preparation time for the clash with the two-time winners, thanks to home shirt main sponsor Charmed Interiors.
The Spalding company is paying for the team’s hotel stay on the Friday evening before the match and Linnets owner Stephen Cleeve said: “I thank Jason Sutton and all of his staff at Charmed Interiors for this fantastic gesture of support towards the club.
“It is an outstanding thing to do and will help us to prepare for this huge game in the correct way. I know that the manager and all the players will appreciate this greatly and I hope that we can repay their generosity with a memorable performance.”