All this ‘success’ of sorts is long overdue at Lincoln City. Even if we failed to get promoted this season (and we might), the cup run and financial rewards are enough to celebrate. Long suffering fans deserve these moments in the sun, as do the players and staff. I can’t help but feel two players perhaps deserve it more than any.
Alan Power has been with us since we came down into this god-forsaken league. He’d been Rushden’s Player of the Year previous to signing for us, and the first match I saw him in was a county cup tie against Scunthorpe. He looked every inch the class act he still is today.
Managers have come and gone, most have liked Power in one way or another. He’s been tucked in behind a front man, sometimes dropped further back into midfield but he has always given committed and passionate displays. His frustration has sometimes got the better of him, and under Gary Simpson it was evident he felt his endeavour was not being matched by some of his team mates. He isn’t always consistent, if he was he wouldn’t have spent five years in the National League, but on his day he is every bit a League Two footballer.
He is now well over 200 appearances for Lincoln, weighing in with more than 30 goals. He has the air of a proper footballer when he’s on the ball, always keen to spread play or pick out a pass, and he’s worn the captain’s armband for a majority of his stint in the red and white. He’s shown passion and commitment signing new deals and has offered a sort of stability since we’ve been in the non league.
This season he struggled to force his way into the team, but injury to Lee Beevers created an opening which he has seized with both hands. His two most recent penalties against Guiseley and Brighton have taken courage to score, and both will prove to be pivotal moments in the season. I took great pleasure in his penalty against Brighton, not just because it got us back into the game, but because it was just rewards for a loyal and honest player who just gets his head down and works hard.
Nobody will deserve promotion this season as much as Power. Undoubtedly a player who has so often been better than most of those around him, and yet a player who has remained at Lincoln City. Had he left without a cup run or a good season under his belt, he would have fallen into the ‘John Finnigan’ trap of being remembered as a decent player in a shoddy team. However, if DC and NC do guide us to promotion I’m delighted that Alan Power will be remembered for the right reasons.
Similarly I’m happy for enigmatic keeper Paul Farman as well. Farms has had a season less at Lincoln, but nonetheless his attitude still epitomises everything good in football. After signing on loan and then permanent he has found himself stood behind some really bad banks of defenders. An unprotected keeper can be as good as any, but he’ll always concede goals and therefore look bad. I was gutted when Farms was pushed out to Boston, but his focus remained and he outlasted the manager who wanted him gone (Simpson) and came back stronger than ever.
These days Paul Farman is one of the better keepers in the National League. He doesn’t always command his box as well as you’d like, but if he was the complete keeper he would have left a long while ago for league football. What he is though is a good shot stopper and a passionate and committed player. To talk to Farms is like talking to a fan on the terraces, his one ambition in football is to win a Football League place with Lincoln City.
It’s hard not to respect players like Farms and Power, no matter what your opinion of their performances have been. Personally I’ve always liked both players, they’ve always given everything for our club. They’re not born and bred Imps fans remember, they’re guys trying to earn a crust and put a roof over their heads. They were here before Danny and Nicky, before Big Matt Rhead and before 70% of the crowd that came out for the Brighton game. When we talk about how much the fans deserve this success, make sure you acknowledge how much these two Lincoln City legends deserve to be remembered in the right way. Now, thanks to Danny and Nicky, they might just be recalled as promotion heroes, not two players who fought valiantly against the clubs sad decline.