2017 in review: Changing of the guard at Lowestoft, Dereham and King's Lynn
PUBLISHED: 16:35 31 December 2017 | UPDATED: 16:35 31 December 2017
Shirley D Whitlow
In football, managers come and go – but 2017 was notable for the departures of a trio of very well-known, long-serving names.
Ady Gallagher, Matt Henman and Gary Setchell left Lowestoft, Dereham and King’s Lynn Town respectively.
Gallagher’s 18-year association with Lowestoft came to an end in November.
“I have had 18 wonderful years at the club, but a variety of challenging circumstances of the last few seasons has led me to believing that fresh impetus is needed to take the football side forward again,” he said.
His assistant Dale Brooks took over, but as yet the managerial bounce hasn’t quite worked – a background of financial constraint hasn’t helped the former Norwich City coach.
However, the changes at Dereham, and King’s Lynn seemed to have had invigorating effects. Henman left Aldiss Park after an excellent nine years at the helm at the end of the 2016-17 season, handing the reins to assistant Neil Simmons – and the Magpies really have flown since, perched at the business end of the Bostik North table.
Setchell’s departure from King’s Lynn Town in February was more acrimonious: the former player had yellow and blue blood, but the hot-seat had barely had time to cool down before former Norwich player and assistant manager Ian Culverhouse was installed.
It was a huge coup for Lynn owner Stephen Cleeve and this season he has been rewarded with Lynn leading the chase for promotion. There have been more ups than downs, although the short and sweet stay of Canaries legend Grant Holt might be considered for the latter category.
Setchell finally returned to the game in September for a second stint as Wisbech boss – and went unbeaten in his first 16 games, including an FA Vase win at Thetford that was overshadowed by the publicity surrounding his veteran keeper Paul Bastock, making a world record 1,250th club appearance.
Wroxham were relegated from Bostik North to the Thurlow Nunn League while Anglian Combination champions Spixworth became Norwich CBS and are ripping it up, with a stunning run to the last 32 of the Vase.