King’s Lynn Town pull off major transfer coup
Ian Culverhouse turned to his old Norwich City connections yesterday to complete two of the biggest signings in King’s Lynn Town’s history.
The Linnets boss brought in former Canaries legends Grant Holt and Simon Lappin to send out an ominous warning to the rest of the Southern League Premier Division.
Both players go straight into the Linnets’ squad for tonight’s home league game against Hitchin Town.
Holt, 36, said: “Offers have come in and I’ve looked at them, spoke to the family as you always do and I came to the conclusion that I’m at an age now where I want to look at doing something different.
“It’s been ongoing for a while now, I’ve been speaking to Ian and in the end we thought it was the best prospect for myself and what the club is trying to achieve.
“I’ve got a fantastic opportunity to come in, work with Ian, who I’ve known for a long time now and who’s an excellent coach and a good manager.
“I’ve got the opportunity now to come here and do coaching as well as playing so everything has kind of fitted in nicely.”
The strikerhelped the Canaries achieve back-to-back promotions into the Premier League under Paul Lambert.
The frontman was tipped by some for a place in England’s Euro 2012 squad after netting 15 league goals in his debut top-flight season.
An illustrious career saw him enjoy goal-laden spells with a host of other clubs, which also included Barrow, Sheffield Wednesday, Rochdale, Nottingham Forest and Shrewsbury Town.
The robust striker was released by Hibernian at the end of last season having helped them to promotion to the Scottish Premier with seven goals from 39 appearances.
On the extra expectation levels his arrival will bring, Holt said: “It doesn’t matter what football club you go to, there’s always high expectations, that’s just the way the game is.
“When I was at Barrow a long, long time ago we were expected to get promoted. Everyone is involved in the game because they want to achieve stuff.
“One thing that Simon and myself won’t do is just sit in the background. We want to take this club forward as far as it can possibly go.”
Holt is joined by left-sided midfielder or full-back Lappin, 34.
Glasgow-born Lappin linked up with City from St Mirren in January 2007 and went on to make 126 appearances before joining Cardiff City on a free transfer in January 2013.
Nicknamed ‘the king of Spain’ Lappin was also part of the Norwich squad which enjoyed great success when Lynn boss Culverhouse was in the dugout at Carrow Road.
After a brief spell with Sheffield United, Lappin returned to his homeland to play for St Johnstone in 2014, featuring in two Scottish Premiership campaigns.
He then made seven starts in the National League with York City before rupturing his Achilles tendon in March.
Lappin said: “Injuries are part-and-parcel of the game and I was very fortunate to get to 34 before something like that happened to me.
“If you ask any of the old Norwich group about Ian, his coaching was unbelievable and that was a big sway in me coming here.
“It is something I’m really looking forward to and I can’t wait to get started.”
On his brief foray into non-league football at York, Lappin added: “I went in there at a time when they were struggling and eventually they were relegated.
“The standard surprised me. It was really tough and competitive and I’m expecting it to be exactly the same here.”