One more face in?

Listening to DC on the radio last night, he insinuated he was relatively happy with his squad at present. After acquiring Dayle Southwell, Josh Ginnelly and Billy Knott he has every right to be. However, one name won’t go away and a set of circumstances have developed that make it look more likely that we might see one more new face, or more specifically one more old face.

Dayle Southwell had a strong debut for Lincoln, and after all of the speculation in the summer it was nice to finally see him in a Lincoln City shirt, albeit the green away kit. He took his goal well and had a solid 60 minutes of action. As we know he’s here on a one month loan at present, and that may not be enough for us.

The run-in is going to be gruelling, and although four forwards looks sufficient to carry us through, if we were to lose Dayle in a month it would leave us light again. I’m told the deal for Dayle should have gone through the day before, but Gareth Ainsworth only wanted a month deal whilst we wanted longer. If Wycombe pick up any injuries between now and four weeks time I suspect he’ll be on his way back down south.

If that does happen it would leave us one short up top again, and signing a player at the beginning of March might not be an ideal situation. If only there were a centre forward who had scored goals at this level not playing regular football. Ideally he’d be based in the county, and familiar with Danny and Nicky. I suppose in an ideal world Football League rules would dictate the only team this ‘perfect’ player could feasibly sign for would be us. If only, eh Jonny Margetts?

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I hope he bought a return ticket

 

The Margetts situation has baffled us all ever since news broke of his shock deadline day move to Scunthorpe United in August. Every man and his dog could see he wouldn’t get in their side, my old man works with a Scunny fan and even he says he wouldn’t get a game. The odd outing he has managed worked against him last week when a loan move to Crewe broke down. Football League rules state you can only play for two club in a season, and Mr Margetts has played for us and Scunny. If The Iron want him to get game time, the only place he can do it is Sincil Bank.

He was a player heavily linked with a move back to City last week, and I suspect Scunthorpe were reluctant to loan him back to us having shelled out for him earlier in the season. There must be an element of embarrassment at Glumford Park over the situation, they buy a striker they don’t need and barely play him. Then they loan him out to Crewe and throw in some barbed comments about non-league sides wanting him, only for it to all fall through. Now they have a decision to make, do they let him rot away in the reserves on principle, or (if we call them) do they let him come back to a club that actually wanted him in the first place?

In an ideal world Sir Gareth of Ainsworth will let Dayle Southwell stay until the end of the season, which negates the need to even pick up the phone and speak to Scunthorpe. No disrespect to Jonny of course, but Scunthorpe should never have signed him. It almost felt like they were posturing as the ‘biggest club in Lincolnshire’ by buying him from us without any real need. Now they’ve got egg on their faces and are still around £50k light.

Decadent? Perhaps. Ill thought out? Absolutely.

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Deadline Day Round Up

The transfer window slams shut in just a couple of hours, and at present it appears that Lincoln City will still have business to do once it does.

Rumoured Imps target Jonny Margetts has signed for Crewe after being heavily linked with a move to City. Crewe are battling relegation from the Football League, and despite being disappointed from The Imps perspective, it seems a good move for him. It’s the second deadline day in a row he’s turned the Imps down after leaving us for Scunthorpe in August.

In a further blow to City it would appear ambitious striker Theo Robinson has played his last game from the club. He hasn’t travelled to Solihull Moors tonight for ‘personal reasons’, and if chatter is to be believed he’s either headed down south to Millwall or Southend, or up North to Huddersfield.

Muldoon scores v crewe

Muldoon scoring in pre season.

Anyone who has been critical of Theo, and feels he won’t be missed, is wide of the mark. We have him to thank for the cup run, seven goals in the competition have helped us to the fifth round. Sadly it looks like the final goal against Brighton will be the last we see of him in an Imps shirt.

City aren’t the only team to lose out in this window though. Forest Green striker Rhys Murphy has left today, and further down the league the Eastleigh fire-sale continues. Former Sunderland youngster Mikael Mandron has left for Wigan until the end of the season.

With two hours to go we might see another big name from our league move on, but if Dagenham do hang on to Oliver Hawkins, we might see them emerge as dark horses in the title race. They’ve got home games against Guiseley, Bromley and Chester prior to their Sincil Bank visit on 25th February, their only away trip is to Southport.

So far this transfer window City have signed Sean Long and Josh Ginnelly on loan, as well as youngster Joe Ward who is only due to stay for another week or so. If Theo isn’t returning then there will be a huge opening in our forward line. With Adam Marriott still being used sparingly, City look light up front for the forthcoming championship battle. That said a goal for Jack Muldoon tonight might be an indication that he is ready to step up and fill the spot left by Robinson.

Welcome to Josh Ginnelly

The Imps have unveiled winger Josh Ginnelly this afternoon on a loan deal until the end of the season.

Ginnelly spent his youth as part of the Aston Villa set up before joining up with Shrewsbury. He made his debut for them under current Tranmere manager Micky Mellon in 2014.

He was due to link up with them in 2015, but failed to return to pre-season training amidst rumours of a move to a bigger club. Eventually he went back to the claret and blue, this time with Burnley. After failing to make a first team appearance he linked up with Altrincham, making 20 appearances, scoring five times.

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At the beginning of this season Ginnelly signed for Walsall on loan, although he only featured in the EFL Cup once, then a 5-2 win over Grimsby in the EFL Trophy. He didn’t feature again until October. He caught the eye of the Saddlers management team, and his reward was a prolonged spell of first team action, although he was dropped for the 1-0 win at Sheffield United, and despite making an appearance from the bench he didn’t feature again.

Ginnelly is an acclaimed corner and free kick taker, and I’m led to believe he has been on Lincoln’s radar for a few weeks now. Ex-Imp Jon Witney didn’t fancy him at Walsall, and combined with the lack of opportunities it is no surprise he has looked elsewhere for his football.

It is encouraging that a player who earned the right to play regular League One football just eight or nine weeks ago had chosen to join up with the Imps for the crucial run-in. Ginnelly claims to work hard for his team mates, something that will be crucial for his success at Lincoln.

Joe Ward set for City?

There has been increased speculation tonight that Brighton wide man Joe Ward is set for a move to the Imps.

On the back of a good day for fans of the club, news of a fresh face will only heighten the anticipation of the weeks ahead. It’s no secret that we are looking to strengthen, and if rumour is to be believed we will be welcoming the winger in the next 24 hours or so.

Ward signed for potential fourth round opponents Brighton in 2015 after a good spell with Chelmsford City. It will come as no surprise to hear us linked with a player who excelled in the Conference South given the brothers intimate knowledge of that league.

The 21-year-old winger  progressed through Chelmsford’s youth ranks, and signed for Albion for a reported £20k in the summer of 2015. Since then he has been with the Brighton development squad, but he hasn’t broken through into the first team at the Amex.

He did make something of a name for himself at Chelmsford though, playing 44 games in the 2014/15 season and registering 11 goals from out wide. It hasn’t been possible to force his way into the first team with the Championship leaders, but he is proven at non-league level.

Chelmsford City FC

Ward netted ten goals in 44 appearances in his first full season with Chelmsford, and that earned him a two-match trial. Speaking to seagulls.co.uk upon his arrival he said:

“I’m really happy; I’ve been at Chelmsford for a year-and-a-half and done well and I wanted a move like this. I originally had a two-week trial and played in the games against Stoke and Aston Villa. I thought I did quite well and didn’t look out of place.  I’ve just kept my head down started playing well and always hoped that something like this would happen.”
He’s featured four times for Brighton’s under 23 side this season in the EFL Trophy, coming on as an 81st minute substitute for them in Tuesday’s 3-0 defeat at Coventry City. With them out of that competition perhaps Brighton feel it is time for him to get some regular football?
The rumours of incoming players have also been fuelled tonight as property guru to th club, Matt Hardwicke, has tweeted the need for a two bedroomed house in the City apparently to house players. If Ward is coming to fill the Harry Anderson sized hole then I don’t think he’ll be the last player we see arriving.
Another rumoured Imps target, Nicke Kabamba has reportedly been training with League Two side Portsmouth to see if club and player are ‘a fit’. There’s nothing concrete yet, but it seems Pompey are looking to make the most of the Jamal Lowe / Kabamba partnership from Hampton and Richmond.

Nicke Kabamba – if it’s more than a rumour, get excited.

I’ve had a little chuckle to myself this evening. I was collecting some dinner from a local shop (health food stuff, obvs) and I caught a glance of a post linking us with Reading full back Sean Long, courtesy of rumours page on Twitter. It amused me because I think you’ll find you heard it here first.

Digging a little deeper into this account I also found us linked with Nicke Kabamba, a young striker currently terrorising defenders in the league below us. He plays for Hampton and Richmond and formed a deadly partnership with a player called Jamal Lowe who recently moved to Portsmouth.

I didn’t link Kabamba with Lincoln prior to today, but I have championed him as a potential signing, and as the season has worn on I’ve kept a keen eye on the striker. He’s had a great time in the forty odd days since I initially identified him as a target and I can’t help but feel he is a perfect fit for Danny and Nicky, should the rumour have any ounce of truth at all.

Firstly, why it might be more than ‘Stefan Payne’ style speculation. There’s one thing that points to there being some truth in the rumour. The player started following City on Twitter recently. He followed Barnet and Newport too, so he might just be a fan of Football. 

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Also, Nicke shares an agency (achieve) with non other than our own super sub Adam Marriott, and also our two month wonder Jonny Margetts. Coincidence? Perhaps, but if the agents have a foot in the door with Danny it could help grease the wheels of a move. Kabamba has been around the southern non-league scene for a few seasons and it is almost nailed on that our management team are aware of him and what he can do.

What can he do? Well first and foremost he scores goals, apparently for fun. He bagged 18 last season for Hemel Hempstead and is already on 15 for this season at Hampton and Richmond. He’s got a real all-round feel to his game as well, he’s not only devastatingly quick but he’s a physical presence as well. He’s 23 so he has moved beyond the billing of promising youngster, and is shifting towards ‘now or never’ when it comes to his big break.

I have to admit, of all the rumours I’ve heard recently (Turgott, Ferrier, Akinola, perhaps even Miller) this is the name that gets my pulse racing. I have a strong feeling he can go on to achieve the sort of success Andre Gray and Jamie Vardy have, if he is managed right and attention is paid to his development. Danny and Nicky Cowley could undoubtedly bring the best out in Kabamba. Of all the players we’ve been linked with, this is the on I’ll be praying for if I go to church on Sunday morning. Which I won’t.

A message for Nicke

Nicke Kabamba is, quite rightly, hot property and is likely to be attracting the attention of the likes of Barnet as well as us. I have some advice for the player in that respect. Look at Ben Tomlinson: he scored regularly for the Imps in the National League, but a move to Barnet has stunted his career. Jumping up to the wrong club can make or break your career, especially at 23. Now look at fellow Achieve clients Adam Marriott and Jonny Margetts. One is featuring in a side top of the National League, being man managed through injury to help him become fitter and stronger. The other was given a chance by the same great club, took it and secured a move to the Football League, although now he has faltered. Ask these two what they think of our management duo, and indeed all of the staff at the club. I bet you hear nothing but words such as ‘sign up’.

The big win here for you Nicke, should a move be on the cards, is to join Lincoln City. You will be a Football League player next season, you will play regular football in an exciting and successful team and you will be working with two of the best man managers in the National League. You’ll be working with two of the best tactically minded and most thorough individuals on the non-league scene and two of the most exciting young managers in the English game today. If you want to go to the next level, you need to get on the Lincoln Loco at the next stop. Come and join the party.

As for non-league rumours on Twitter, if you want to know what is happening I suggest subscribing to my blog, although sources suggest you already do. I’ll only keep helping if you stop printing far fetched crap about Nathan Arnold. He was a Cod, now he feels like he’s at home in red and white. He’s on of us now, hopefully like Nicke Kabamba will be soon!

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A book is for life, not just for Christmas. My book, The Who’s who of Lincoln City 1993-2013, is out and available on Amazon.

GET IT HERE

I am hoping to have some copies to hand in time for the next home game too

 

 

Possible Target: Stefan Payne?

I’m back to work today, doing a proper job that involves not being poised by my computer ready to write about anything that happens. It means I’m writing articles a day or two early and scheduling them to come on. Just so you know.

As you know I love trying to second guess who we might target and recently I covered many non-league players that might tickle our fancy. There is of course the possibility that we will look higher up the league spectrum to find solutions to our requirements, and one player who might fit the bill is former Dover striker Stefan Payne.

Payne is well known to Imps fans, he netted a brace in their 4-1 win at Crabble last season before securing a move to Barnsley. He hasn’t settled up north though, and he’s been restricted to just seven appearances from the bench.

He’ll be well known to the Cowleys, and not just because of his goal scoring exploits last season. Prior to that he featured for Hornchurch in the National League South, scoring 35 goals in just 46 appearances. The goal return isn’t dissimilar to that of Adam Marriott, and with Payne also comfortable on the wings he may offer alternatives going forward as we press on with our title campaign.

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He’s only 25 and despite a few red cards littering his career he has plenty more to offer than a robust approach. He hit over 40 goals in 80 outings for Dover at this level, helping fire them to the Play-Offs last season.

It is highly unlikely Barnsley would release him permanently though, and I suspect if he were available then we’d be looking at some sort of loan deal. He’s only six months into a two-year deal, and there’s an option for a third as well if he performs well.

Barnsley are currently ninth in the Championship and with Sam Winnall and Tom Bradshaw the favoured pairing it might be advantageous for Payne to go out on loan. Whether they would favour a drop back to the National League or not is another thing entirely, but having seen the success Lincoln are having and knowing he’d probably get regular football, they might just allow it. Might.

Of course this might all be mindless speculation, but like with the signing of Raggett I suspect whatever is pulled out of the bag this January will be something out of leftfield, something that neither I nor other posters on social media have anticipated. Someone such as Stefan Payne would have the ability and experience at this level to help us kick on, and if he did sign it would be a massive, massive coup for the club.

Is it time for a Fry up?

You lot know me by now, I love a good rumour especially if it seems to have some substance. One has reached me today and like a good little blogger with nothing better to do before Harry Potter starts at 7.30pm, I thought I’d write about it.

There’s lots of speculation about which players might be targeted by Danny and Nicky in the coming days and weeks. Popular opinion has a wide man joining us to replace the Harry Anderson shaped hole left by the young man departing. There are also persistent rumours of a versatile defender coming in, one already known to the Cowley brothers and one who might give us a degree of further cover.

At first glance it would seem like we need a player capable of filling one of the wide defensive positions. Callum Howe is putting significant pressure on Sean Raggett and Luke Waterfall, but Sam Habergham and Bradley Wood are forced to play through the pain barrier if they pick up a knock. It seems highly likely that we will recruit someone to offer that cover, bring personality to the squad but also not break the bank. I imagine the money will be saved for the game changer up front.

A little bird has told me today that a certain Matt Fry is unsettled at York City, and if that is the case I can see him being a potential target. There are rumours that DC has spoken to a defender he already knows, one with whom he worked at Braintree. Matt Fry goes back much further than that though, he turned out for Concord Rangers under DC too.

He is a left sided defender, but I’m reliably informed he can play a ‘Lee Beevers’ role, which translated means do whatever is asked of him across the back four. He would definitely offer cover as well as the versatility we have lacked since Lee’s injury. The rumour seems very plausible from our end. The stumbling block would be York City.

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Is he ginger? He looks ginger. We don’t have enough ginger players.

 

I am surprised Fry has fallen out of favour there. York are bottom despite beating North Ferriby, and have been shipping goals for fun. The arrival of Sean Newton will do nothing to stem that flow, and against City the other week they looked disjointed and completely lacking in organisation. Matt Fry could surely have a role to play, but if his face doesn’t fit then he may not get a chance. He was a McNamara signing, and now Jackie has gone maybe the new regime wants to stick with players he knows, like Newton. (at this point I wish I had emojis on my blog, because I’d use that ‘laughing / crying’ face numerous times. Sean Newton a defender?)

Before any readers start talking about signing players from lowly teams, remember this. We released Jon Nolan with a flea in his ear, maligned by our fans as work shy and having an attitude problem. Just a few days later he rocked up at Grimsby and gave them an injection of life they needed for their promotion charge. If Matty Fry is indeed surplus to requirements at Bootham Crescent then it may be a case of their so-called trash being our treasure.

Fry does have a decent background having started out at West Ham before making 13 loan appearances for Gillingham and 32 more on loan with Charlton Athletic. From there he appeared to be in free-fall, leaving the Hammers to find permanent first team football. He had a brief spell with Bradford (6 appearances) before stopping off at Concord Rangers, helping them to beat Lowestoft in the 2013 play off success, a win masterminded by some bloke called Danny Cowley. Fry was soon off in search of football at a higher level, this time with injury hit spells at Dartford (16 games) and Eastleigh (3).

fry

Fry at Eastleigh. I could have found a smaller picture if I’d looked really hard.

 

He wound up back at Concord Rangers and the Cowley effect saw him again rejuvenated. He followed the managers to Braintree and made 29 appearances as they finished third. On signing for Braintree, Fry told his local paper:

“It is no secret that I have a good relationship with Danny. I turned down some pretty good offers before I came back to Concord last summer and it was a good move for me. Danny was one of the main reasons behind that and all the boys will tell you how much of a pleasure it is to play for him. When he got the job he gave me a call but it was all professionally handled and it was a move I was keen to make.”

He also credited our manager with helping him work towards fully recovering from injuries that blighted the early part of his career. He spoke of Danny and Nicky drawing up individual training schedules targeted at building strength in key areas and avoiding repeats of the injuries that perhaps stunted his career after some impressive outings for Charlton. Like most of their former players, Fry likes Danny and Nicky a lot.

It was somewhat of a surprise then, when instead of coming to Sincil Bank in the summer,  he chose to play for Jackie McNamara at York. Of course he is long gone, and perhaps the defender has had a change of heart and feels that ours are the managers whom he can entrust his career to. he’s only 26 and still has time to make his name in League Football. He did have a two-year deal but if York are remodelling perhaps there could be a ‘mutual consent’ situation arise that see’s him move for nothing?

It might just be that I’m speculating wildly to avoid having to go through to the kitchen and help my missus wash up. If this article is followed by five more about Blair Turgott, Ricky Miller, Simeon Akinola and Danny Rowe (Macclesfield and Fylde) then you’ll know these keyboard battering hands haven’t suffered the indignity of a Fairy Liquid bath.