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Exclusive: Steve Cleeve explains Norwich relationship with Kings Lynn Town

Kings Lynn Town FC chairman Stephen Cleeve says the club has a growing relationship with Norwich City in an interview with Tribal Football.

This season Kings Lynn have taken Norwich youth player Alfie Payne on loan and Cleeve said the relationship was beneficial for both sides.

"From Norwich's perspective, we can take their players on loan and the higher we go through the leagues the better players we can take," Cleeve told Tribal Football.

"They can monitor the players closely and they still train with Norwich every day, while also doing a couple of evenings with us. Then on match days they come with us. These relationships need to grow and the higher we go, the better it becomes for Norwich too as it gives them the opportunity to give some of their youth prospects men's football."

For youth players going from under-23s or reserves football to the Premier League can be a big leap, and Cleeve feels that having the opportunity to play in the sixth tier can help improve their game.

"I think men's football is much better for developing youth players," he argued.

"They are playing in front of paying fans with all the good and bad things that that brings. They become used to the pressure and it just helps because the results also matter hugely compared to under 23s."

Kings Lynn are currently top of the National League North under the management of former Norwich player Ian Culverhouse. The ex-defender joined Kings Lynn in November 2018.

Another Norwich connection is forward Ryan Jarvis, who played for the Canaries in the Premier League during the 2004/05 season.

"Ryan is a good guy and I can always go and talk to him and he will offer his opinion and he has the ability to relay information about players to me," Cleeve explained.

"From a player's experience he helps bring young players through around him. He is also playing better and better and a lot of players at our level just coast, but Ryan isn't like that. I think he is an integral part of our football club."

Norwich currently sit 19th in the Premier League, six points away from safety and with only three wins to their names this season.


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William Dodds

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