FOOTBALL: The departure from The Walks of director of football Rob Back sees another part of the Linnets old guard consigned to the club’s history.
Backie, as he is known throughout the club (and football for that matter), cited work pressures and his own health as to his reasons for stepping away from the latest of the many roles he has held at The Walks over the last 10 years-or-so.
Rob has a high-pressure job outside of football that sees him covering hundreds of miles a week, dashing around the country. A recent promotion, along with his health and family commitments means he would have found everything impossible to balance.
In my time as a club volunteer, I can vouch for the balancing that has to be done to try to keep everyone happy. Sometimes it is impossible to achieve.
Like myself, Rob is something of a willing workhorse and would do anything for the club.
It’s difficult to explain to someone who has never been involved at a football club as to why your heart always seems to rule your head! You often find yourself doing bits you wouldn’t dream of doing in any other setting.
Backie turned his hand to a few things at Lynn, some of which turned out fine and others not so good. Two of his finest times have come in the dugout, either as manager or joint manager. His partnership with Marc Curson, managing the reserves saw them enjoy one of the best spells in their history. At one time they were seeing support levels of up to 300 people in the Eastern Counties League.
They were good times for the club and there were occasions when you felt there was maybe just a touch more interest in the club’s reserve side than the first team!
The other finest hour of Rob’s Lynn career was another double act with Neil Fryatt in the first team dugout following the short reign of Simon Clark.
I’ve mentioned before that when the pair took the job the club was at a really low ebb and the possibility of relegation to Step 4 football looked real.
The two of them more than steadied the ship, they turned it around, allowing Ian Culverhouse to return to the club from Grantham Town and oversee a memorable ‘Super Play Off’ final win the following May.
Backie’s tenure with Neil was only a short one but in the overall scale of things it turned out be massive for the club.
If relegation had followed, I am almost certain that the Linnets would not have made it to where they are today – dining at the top table of English non-League football. Yes, the duo’s contribution was that big.
Let’s also not forget that two of the players who were pivotal in Lynn’s success that followed – Chris Henderson and Adam Marriott – were both recruited in that eight-week spell.
The club will be a lesser place without Rob within it, that’s for sure.
In my time there he was always available for a chat or if something cropped up last minute he would pitch in and help get it sorted.
I always felt he was the supporters; link to the club; always having a minute to have a chat with the fans, be the subject good or bad.
Everyone in local football, not only at The Walks, knows of Rob Back and of his passion for all levels of football.
He will be missed by many and I wish him well for a well-deserved break.
Walks will host two key games
FOOTBALL: Action returns to The Walks tomorrow when Aldershot Town visit for what is a vital match for both teams.
Everyone has heard of the term ‘six-pointer’ for a game of such magnitude but if there was such a thing as a ‘nine-pointer’ then this would be an example of it.
By all accounts Lynn played well at Bromley last weekend before going down by the odd goal in five. Town led the high flyers twice, following goals from Jayden Davis (in what was his final outing in a Linnets shirt before returning to Millwall on Monday after his month’s loan) and a stunning strike from defender Ross Barrows, who injured his shoulder in scoring and will now be facing a spell on the sidelines as a result.
The damage for the home team was done by the much travelled Michael Cheek, whose tally of goals for the season already stands at 12. How the Linnets wish they had a similar hotshot in their ranks.
Town journeyed north on Tuesday to take on a resurgent Stockport County and fell to a 5-0 defeat. At the same time, tomorrow’s visitors picked up an important three points with a 1-0 win over Torquay.
The emphasis now switches to home soil for Lynn’s next two games.
The scheduled trip to Halifax has been postponed, meaning tomorrow’s visit of the side two places above Lynn in the table will be followed by the visit of the only one below them on December 11 when Dover Athletic come to town.
All at The Walks will, I’m sure, be hoping for an early Christmas present of six points from the two games to prepare them for a busy holiday spell of games.