King's Lynn Town boss says taking club to the National League surpasses anything else he has achieved in football
Ian Culverhouse says the fairytale of leading King’s Lynn Town to the National League is his greatest moment in the game.
Although the Lynn boss won a UEFA Cup winner’s medal with Tottenham Hotspur as a player and helped Norwich City to back-to-back promotions as a number two, he admitted that guiding Lynn to Step 2 level towers above all his previous achievements in football.
An elated Culverhouse, who returned to Lynn for his second spell as manager last November, said: “It’s what I’ve always wanted, not just promotion, but to be a number one.
“This is by far my biggest achievement in football and that’s because your head’s above the parapet.
“The promotions (with Norwich City) were magnificent and I will never, ever forget them as long as I live, but my head was below the parapet then.
“I could bark orders out and it was only someone taking them, but now I’m giving the orders out and the buck stops with me.
“It has been about having good players, good staff and fantastic supporters.”
The Linnets came from behind to defeat Warrington 3-2 after extra-time in the Super Play-Off at Cantilever Park to secure their place back in the National League for the first time since 2008.
Having come so close last campaign, only to miss out in heart-breaking fashion against Slough in the final, the former Norwich City assistant boss, who returned to the club mid-season, has successfully completed the job he was brought in to do.
Culverhouse said: "This is a massive achievement for the football club, to do what we've done and to come from where we were.
"It started with Robbie (Back) and Neil (Fryatt) taking the job on, getting the players in and back focused on the job and for the players to then go on the run we have is incredible.
"I said after the Alvechurch game away if we got this thing rolling it becomes unstoppable and these players have just kept on rolling and rolling and believed in what were doing.
"They've done the town proud and I'm also so pleased for the supporters who have turned out in their hundreds today and to share this with them is special."
Culverhouse believes that Lynn's 3-0 victory at high-flying Alvechurch - his first game back in the Walks' dugout - last November was the catalyst for their promotion push.
That game marked the start of a new era for the club with record-breaking goalkeeper Paul Bastock joining him as his assistant.
"He came in at Grantham as the goalkeeper coach and his enthusiasm with the players was infectious, it really was, and I thought, if I ever get the chance again, I would love to work with him again," said Culverhouse.
"The phone call went in and he didn't even blink, he just said, 'yes, I'm coming'. He is very, very out there and he tells the players what it is.
"There are no airs or graces, and that leaves me just to stand back a little bit and digest what is going on - and it works tremendously.
"I said to him at the time 'you watch these boys play' and he sat on the side and said 'on my god, this is just a different level'.
"The performances they've put in from that day to this day have been absolutely unbelievable. Their focus and desire to actually win a game of football today was unbelievable."
Bastock missed Saturday's Super Play-Off final at Warrington due to a pre-booked holiday in Turkey, but was quickly Face-timing his partner in crime straight on the final whistle.
Culverhouse ended by praising Linnets chairman Stephen Cleeve.
"I'm also pleased for the chairman as he's backed us massively. We came up on Friday night and our preparation was spot on.
"It doesn't guarantee you anything and it costs money to do what we did, but he's backed us massively and he's got his rewards."