Sport - Football: Gulliver delivering the goods – on and off pitch

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It hasn’t just been on his travels off the pitch that Linnets defender Phil Gulliver has been delivering the goods this season.

Gulliver – a delivery driver for a company he part owns – has been tremendous since his summer switch from Corby and has been one of Lynn’s most consistent and reliable performers going into December.

His displays have prompted manager Gary Setchell to describe Gulliver as a the cornerstone of the dressing room and a real leader on the pitch.

Gulliver spent the close season working hard on his fitness and hopes his dedication will be rewarded with promotion in his first season with the club.

Speaking to the Lynn News, Gulliver, whose experience has been vital to the team so far this term, said: “I’ve been taken by surprise how how physical the league has been since I signed for the club.

“I didn’t think it was going to be as demanding as it has been. Obviously the team are very fit anyhow, but as a footballer you’re expected to go out and do your own bit at home too.

“I’m really enjoying myself at the club.

“I think we’ve exceeded all expectations on the pitch so far and I’d say the play-offs are the minimum target for us now.

“I wouldn’t say we’ve come across any side who have been miles better than ourselves and we have a team full of good characters.”

Gulliver, who has made 23 appearances for Lynn this campaign, admitted that the pre-season injury suffered by fellow centre-back Stuart Wall didn’t put any extra pressure on his shoulders.

“I only played with Stuart for a game-and-a-half and at that time everyone was playing for a place in the side, so I wouldn’t say I felt any extra pressure to perform.”

At 30, Gulliver is regarded as the elder statesman of the side, but it is a responsibility which he has thrived on – especially playing alongside Ryan Fryatt at the heart of the Lynn defence.

“I had a few young players playing alongside me at Corby, so it’s good if I can pass on my knowledge and help guide them through a game said Gulliver.

“It’s great having a player like Ryan alongside me.

“He wants to listen and learn and has all of the attributes to go on and be a really good player.

“Ryan is so fit. He is good in the air and very good on the floor. He also has a lot of aggression, but in a good way.

“He has pace to burn and in our last few matches he has been reading the game so well.

“We’ve built up a solid understanding and I appreciate Ryan shouting at me too as I’m still learning, even at my age.

“Defensively as a team we are a very solid unit. We looked as though we were going to keep a clean sheet at Leek on Saturday but couldn’t quite hold on.”

On Gulliver’s contribution to the team this season, Linnets boss Setchell said: “Phil has been the cornerstone of the dressing room and he also brings a sense of calm, power and organisation to the team on the pitch.

“He may lack a little bit of pace, but he brings so much more to the team in all other aspects of his game.”