King’s Lynn Town forward Ryan Hawkins can’t wait to mix it against best of National League North
Ryan Hawkins says he can’t wait to mix it against the best next season when King’s Lynn Town take their place in the National League North.
The Linnets face games against the likes of ex-Football League clubs Boston United, Chester City, York City, Kidderminster Harriers and Darlington when they kick off their league campaign in early August.
And the former Norwich City Academy player is looking forward to testing himself at the highest level he has ever played at.
Hawkins said: “We’ve got Kettering again next season but we’ll also be playing against teams like York and some of the stadiums we will be going to are just a different level.
“Some of them are massive clubs and were playing in the Football League a few years ago. I’m thriving at having the opportunity of playing in
the league above and hopefully I can take my chance in the side.
“There are some big clubs, but King’s Lynn is also a big club. I think we will do well and compete.
“It will be a bit more physical and a lot more teams will want to play football, too, which will suit us.
“Last season was brilliant after winning promotion and hopefully I can get back in the team and push on.
“If we win and the team wins I’m happy at the end of the day but, obviously, everyone wants to play minutes on the pitch.
“I know my capability and what I can do, I just need to be consistently good every week.”
The 24-year-old says the extra travelling, which will see the Linnets clock up more than 6,300 miles on the road, won’t present a problem to the current squad.
“As you go higher in football, you have to be prepared to do the travelling. It’s probably better because you’re with the group every week and our trips together are quite special really.
“We’re a close-knit group, so I think that will help us even more.
“If we have a good pre-season and start well in the National North who knows where it could take us.”
Meanwhile, the National League North landscape will look a little different than King’s Lynn Town expected after the league confirmed the demotion of one side into the division and the switching of another at the weekend.
Following the AGM at Celtic Manor, Newport, it has been confirmed that, after a season of turmoil off the pitch, Gateshead have lost their battle to retain their National League status and have been demoted from the fifth tier.
Gateshead were suspended from the National League last month and refused a licence for the 2019/20 campaign.
The Heed will join fellow North East clubs Spennymoor Town, Darlington and Blyth Spartans in the North next season.
The decision to demote Gateshead means that Oxford City, who had been moved from National League South to North in the proposed allocations last month, will now remain in the South.