It’s time for the next part of our loan watch, where we take a closer look at some of our loanees seasons so far. We started with Diallang Jaiyesimi and up next is Alfie Payne.
The Linnets have been enjoying a great season so far in the Vanarama National League North, currently sitting second in the table with 64 points, just two points behind York City for the title.
That two points isn’t much of a gap to close and is made much easier by the fact that King’s Lynn have two games in hand over York, meaning should they win at least one of these, they will take the top spot, should the season continue.
Payne’s loan move has been nothing short of successful so far in the Linnets campaign. The young midfielder has played 17 games for King’s Lynn as they pursue promotion, scoring three times in these appearances.
Despite not starting every game, or even playing each to the full 90-minute mark, Payne has been thrown into his first loan season of senior football, taking to it with no problems whatsoever.
Managed by ex-Norwich City star Ian Culverhouse, Payne has shown off his creativity and energy to earn his spot in the matchday squad week in, week out.
On top of this, Payne is just 20-years old, the second-youngest player to play for the Linnets all season, yet in less games also finds himself to be the joint-second top scorer in Culverhouse’s midfield.
Speaking on his season so far, Payne believes the loan move has been a big positive for both the team and his development as player.
“The season at King’s Lynn so far has been a very positive one and a very good one for the team. Obviously, as we stand in the break, we’re currently two points off top with two games in hand, I think.
“It’s within our hands to go top, which is a great achievement for the club and the team. It’s been a real positive and it’s been great to be a part of a successful team.”
“I think it’s been a good learning curve and season for development. The teams we come up against are a lot different to playing Academy football. There’s been a lot of opportunities I’ve been given to learn and develop as a player, which I think is the most important thing.”
Asked about any improvements the loan has made in his time at the club, Payne says he’s improved defensively, able to monitor the play a lot easier than before.
“I think defensively it’s helped me the most, because it’s more about second balls and trying to read the play, which has been good for me, because I’ve not been used to picking up second balls.
“Having to adapt to that and predict where it’s going to go it’s helped me learn that side of the game a lot better.”
Finally, Payne spoke of the support he receives from the club, insisting that he has the right support for his development.
“I’ve got a lot of support at Norwich, I was training everyday there before the virus, coming into contact with the Under-23s Coach David Wright and the support staff around him, like the Sports Scientist Jay Eastoe-Smith, so I’m able to get all the support I need.
“When it came to being at King’s Lynn, we have the Loans Manager Neil Adams, who looks after us. After games we’d call him and tell him how it’s gone, or occasionally he’ll come up and watch.
“I think the support from the club is always there, which is ideal to help me develop the best I can as a player.”