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Kettering appoint former Tottenham, Aston Villa, Norwich player as new manager

Kettering Town have impressed fans by choosing to appoint former Tottenham, Aston Villa, Norwich player Ian Culverhouse as their new manager.

The former King’s Lynn Town boss has been appointed by the Poppies following the resignation of Paul Cox on Friday, who left for Boston United.

Kettering didn’t have to do much searching with Culverhouse arriving at Latimer Park with his new club sitting 11th in the National League North, three points from the playoffs and have games in hand.


The Club are absolutely delighted to announce that former Kings Lynn Town manager Ian Culverhouse has been appointed the new manager of Kettering Town FC and will take charge of his first game on Tuesday night against Kidderminster Harriers at Latimer Park.

Owner Ritchie Jenue said: “We are extremly pleased and happy to appoint Ian as our new manager, he has an excellent pedigree and CV within the game, having managed at our level and above in the National League. Ian will be bringing in former Poppies goalkeeper Paul Bastock as his assistant and we are delighted to have such an experienced pairing at the helm to take us forward”.

Ian said:  We (Paul and I) are extremely grateful for this opportunity and the challenge going forward with a young squad, we are in a decent position and cannot wait to get going on Tuesday night”.

Ian, has also managed at Grantham Town as well as being the assistant at Colchester United, Norwich City (who he used to play for) and Aston Villa.

We would like to welcome both Ian and Paul to the Poppies and hope they have a successful time with the club.


In 2017 Culverhouse was appointed manager of Southern League Premier Division club King’s Lynn Town and led the club to a second-place finish, after which they lost in the playoff final.

He subsequently left King’s Lynn, and was named manager of Grantham Town at the end of May 2018. However, after resigning as Grantham manager in October 2018, he returned to King’s Lynn as manager on the 1st of November.

Despite King’s Lynn being in the bottom half of the Southern League Central Premier table when Culverhouse rejoined the club, form improved and the team climbed the table strongly in the second half of the season.

They clinched the runners up spot on the final day of the season before winning the play-offs and Super playoffs to earn themselves a place in the National League North for the 2019/20 season.

Despite being relegation favourites and suffering a 3-0 defeat to Guiseley on the opening day of the season; Culverhouse and his team defied the odds and found themselves embroiled in a promotion battle with York City.

When the season was suspended in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak; King’s Lynn were in 2nd position, two points behind York but crucially had two games in hand. Following much deliberation by the National League and FA, the League was finally settled on a points-per-game calculation, crowning King’s Lynn as champions and securing them and Culverhouse a second successive promotion.

Poppies owner Ritchie Jeune said he was immediately installed as the club’s number one target to replace Cox on Friday night with the deal being completed after a three-hour meeting between the two parties on Sunday morning.

“We thought Ian was firmly in the running for the Boston job and we were surprised he was available while also being surprised that we, all of a sudden, didn’t have a manager,” Jeune said to Northants Telegraph.

“As soon as we knew he wasn’t the Boston manager, he became our number one target.

“He has the pedigree and he is a footballing guy. He took King’s Lynn to two promotions into the National League North and then the National League so he knows what it takes. And he also has that experience of being a National League manager.

“To be honest, if Ian hadn’t been available, we would have gone through the traditional route of asking for CVs to be sent in but sometimes things fall into place.

“We had a brief conversation as a club, we contacted him on Friday night, he came in today and we had three hours sitting with him and understanding his philosophy while he understands what we are trying to do with the club.

“To have this done quickly is good for the club and good for the players and we are looking forward to the future with him.”

Twitter users reacted as Kettering appoint the former Tottenham, Aston Villa, Norwich player as their new manager…

@onthisdaythefa: Quality manager and a nice bloke, great appointment for Kettering

@beady69: We’re on our way to the football league. Ian Culverhouse’s red and black army.

@jimbalor: Heck of an appointment. That squad’s gonna need a mass overhaul to play his style though, you’d think.

@pls__xx: Great appointment! COYP ❤️🖤

@JensenColeman4: HOLY. FLIPPING… HOW???!!!! Welcome to @KTFCOfficial, Ian! Wish you the very best here! 🔴⚫️

@TommyDryburgh: Football league here we come 🚂🚂

@up_utp: Definitely think we have got the better end of the deal here! Paul who?? Culverhouse’s Barmy Army 🔴⚫️

@ThorSci: Great signing! UTP

@matt23boss: Beautiful stuff 🔴⚫️

@Dan_Lee85: This is what we like to see 😎 #utp #ktfc #ketteringtownfc

@JamesLoader16: @PaulCox101 who? Already forgotten


@TrailOfDebt: The man many assumed would be the new Boston manager replaces the man who quit to be appointed the new Boston manager. Obviously.

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