On what’s perhaps the most feared day for professional footballers up and down the country, Monday 1st July marked the start of Lincoln City’s annual pre-season schedule and the start of another roller coaster ride for the club and its fans alike.
Following last season’s narrow avoidance of a potentially disastrous relegation to the Conference North, the 6th tier of English football, the Imps faithful will be hopeful that popular manager Gary Simpson can weave his magic in the transfer market, and make the 2013/14 Conference season one to remember.
With just over a month to go until the beginning of the new season, Simpson has been busy in the transfer market so far.
No fewer than seven players have left Sincil Bank for pastures new this summer, most notably last season’s top scorer Jamie Taylor, who opted to move down a division to Conference South club Sutton United in order to be closer to family. Fellow striker Vadaine Oliver secured a big move to League 1 side Crewe Alexandra, with the Imps receiving up to £45,000 in compensation.
Other departures include defenders Peter Gilbert and Nicky Nicolau, midfielders Adam Smith and Frazer Cobb and striker Gomez Dali.
It is not just the ‘out’ door at the Bank which has been busy, however. Simpson has brought in seven players so far this summer, with the expectation of more to come.
One who will not be playing at the Bank next season however is Jake Jones, who missed a deadline to sign with the club after stating his desire to sign on the dotted line. Jones, who played an important role in helping the Imps avoid the drop, has instead signed for Conference rivals Tamworth.
Simpson’s signings so far this summer:
Sean Newton – Left Back
On 13th May, 24 year old Newton became Simpson’s first signing of the summer after signing a two year deal after his contract with Stockport County expired. A set piece specialist, Newton will be familiar to the Imps faithful after netting a free kick in Stockport’s 2-0 victory against the Imps back in February.
Danny Rowe – Striker
Signed with the aim of replacing the goals of Taylor and Oliver, Rowe agreed a one year deal with the Imps after being released from Fleetwood Town this summer. The 6’1” target man spent the second half of the 12/13 season on loan at Barrow; however his seven goals were not enough to save the club from relegation.
Waide Fairhurst – Striker
Signing on 17th May, Fairhurst became the second striker to be signed by Simpson in the space of a week, and he too will be relied upon to fire the club to glory. Fairhurst scored 13 goals in 43 games for Macclesfield last season, and the former Doncaster Rovers front man has signed a one year deal with the Imps.
Jon Nolan – Centre Midfielder
One of two players signed on the 23rd May. Former Everton academy product Nolan agreed a one year deal with the Imps after spending the past two seasons at Conference North-bound Stockport County. Described by Simpson as “a very good footballer” and “a terrific signing”, Nolan, aged just 21, will be tasked with complimenting the talents of club captain Alan Power in centre midfield.
Adi Yussuf – Striker
Along with Nolan, the deal for Yussuf was completed on the 23rd May, making the former Leicester City youth player the third striker to be signed by Simpson this summer. Tanzania-born Yussuf has spent the past two seasons at Burton Albion; however a groin injury limited his appearances for the Brewers last season.
Nat Brown – Centre Back
A favourite of the Imps faithful, 32 year old Brown signed a permanent deal for the Imps on 3rd June after leaving Macclesfield at the end of last season. The experienced defender is well known to both Simpson and the Imps fans after playing three successful seasons at the Bank under the late Keith Alexander and Simpson in the mid 2000s, in addition to his short loan spell at the club last season.
Nick Wright – Striker
Signed just in time for pre-season, Birmingham-born Wright became Simpson’s seventh signing of the summer, and his fourth in the striking department. Following Wright’s release from Mansfield at the end of the season, Wright revealed that he turned down offers to play in India, instead choosing to sign for the Imps in their quest for promotion to the Football League.
Lincoln kick off their season on the 10th August away to Woking.Tweet