Burch and Hughton flattered by Imps awards

The Lincoln City end of season awards were handed out at Sincil Bank on Saturday—with Rob Burch and Cian Hughton picking up the main honours.

Goalkeeper Burch secured the title of Player of the Year, while the versatile Hughton was happy to secure the Young Player of the Year award.

Burch, who made his 100th appearance for the Imps in Saturday’s 0-0 stalemate with Macclesfield, said he was delighted with the gong.

A polished campaign earned Burch the title of 'Player of the Season' but doubts remain over whether he will stay at Sincil Bank. Photo: Lincoln City F.C.

“It’s a great honour for me,” said the former Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper, who was signed for Lincoln back in 2008 by former Imps manager Peter Jackson. Burch says he appreciates the risk that Jackson took with him.

“It was a big gamble from Jacko [Peter Jackson] and I’m forever grateful that he took that chance on me. I played a lot of reserve games and a lot of managers don’t look at that, especially at this level. He was great for me confidence-wise and he made me seem like the best goalkeeper out there.”

Burch also took time to praise goalkeeping coach Paul Musselwhite for the effect he has had on the improvement in the former England under-20 goalkeeper.

“I worked really hard with Muzzy [Paul Musselwhite] and a lot of respect has to go to him. He has worked me hard. Pre-season seems like a long time ago now, but we had a lot of one-on-one work which was great for me.”

However, Burch was cagier when asked about his future at Lincoln City, after reports which linked him with a move to a higher division this summer.

“We’ll look to see what happens in the next couple of weeks. That’s all I can say. Never say never. I’m really settled in Lincoln, but we’ll see what happens,” he said.

Hughton, the son of Newcastle manager Chris, was also thankful after being given the Young Player of the Year award.

“It’s topped off what has personally been a good season for me. It’s my first full season and I’ve played a lot of games. Our league form wasn’t great and we maybe left it too late to secure our position in this league again,” said Hughton.

Despite being another Jackson signing, Hughton reserved special praise for the way the current managerial team of Chris Sutton and Ian Pearce have impacted on his game.

“They encourage me to play football. There’s nothing better than when you know you’ve got the manager behind you and he’s just encouraging you to keep doing what you’re doing. He [Sutton] is one of those managers who don’t mind if you make mistakes if you’re trying to do something positive,” he continued.

Hughton has had to fill in in several positions this season and he says that, despite the fact he considers himself a right back first and foremost, he is happy to play wherever he is needed.

“It’s not going to hurt me if I can play in different positions and if the manager thinks I can play in a different position to full back then I will do that.

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