Chris Sutton’s players have come off their closed season holiday and will begin pre-season training on Monday, June 28th. Monday’s training session will be the first chance Sutton and assistant manager Ian Pearce will have to assess the fitness of the current crop of players, while monitoring how the new players are settling in.
The Lincoln manager has made five major signings so far this summer. Sutton began his push to bolster the team in late May, shortly after the football season finished. Josh O’Keefe joined the Imps on a deal that will keep him with City until 2012, after he was released along with six other players from Walsall. The midfielder’s release was no surprise after he played only 13 games for the Saddlers in the previous campaign.
Joe Anyon and Mustapha Carayol were the second and third players to walk into the board room and sign contracts at Sincil Bank. Goalkeeper Anyon signed a two-year deal with the Imps after he was released by Port Vale after making 109 appearances at Vale Park.
Carayol, a pacey right-footed left winger, also signed on a two-year deal with the Imps. He joined from last season’s League Two strugglers Torquay, where he scored six goals in 50 appearances for the Gulls. The Imps were forced to pay compensation to Torquay as Carayol is under the age of 24 and was not released by the Gulls.
In early June, Sutton made the successful move to sign Drewe Broughton on a permanent deal, after the Hitchin-born player impressed on loan at Sincil Bank. Even though Broughton did not score a single goal for the Imps during his nine-game spell, he did provide the perfect partner to Davide Somma in the latter stages of last season.
In late June came Sutton’s fifth transfer of the summer: the rapid wide midfielder Gavin McCallum. He made an impression on City’s managerial staff playing for Hereford United when they faced the Imps last season at Sincil Bank, and since penned a two-year contract with City. The Canadian-born player enjoyed a productive period with the Bulls last season scoring eight goals in 27 games, an impressive yield for any winger.
Lincoln manager Sutton is still rumoured to be looking to sign a striker who will provide goals and a balance to the Imps side as the new season looms.