18-year-old Freddie Draper is yet to play for the Imps side this season. But with an injury to Tom Hopper, who will be missing in action against Charlton Athletic. As well as Ben House also picking up a knock against Bolton Wanderers last Saturday.  The Imps are looking thin on striking options, meaning that Draper could find himself pushing his way back into the starting squad.

On how Draper is getting on, Lincoln Head Coach Mark Kennedy, gave an update:

“He’s back in full training and then once he gets up to speed, fairly modern, anybody needs some game time at whatever level that is. Whether it’s with the youth team and he needs to get up to speed because it’s nearly October and he has not had any minutes whatsoever.

“I think first and foremost we need to get him on the pitch before we can start. What I don’t want to do is put pressure on Freddie. He is a young lad, just signed a new deal, somebody we’ve got high hopes for. I don’t want to put him into a volcano of fire when it is unfair on him.”

Kennedy’s side has been plagued with injuries so far this season, a similar trend to what happened last season where the luck never seems to change for the Imps. Mark Kennedy explained Draper’s injury crisis so far:

“Freddie had a pretty bad injury himself, he was out with a shoulder injury for a sustained period of time. When he came back, I think it was two weeks and he got a really, really freak injury doing some individual work with some finishing where he got a really innocuous injury.”

Draper made nine appearances last season before joining Gainsborough Trinity on loan in February. The 18-year-old then went on to make a further eight appearances last season before the shoulder injury ruled him out.

Draper is yet to open his goal-scoring tally yet for the Imps first team but with the congested fixture list coming up, the relentlessness of games could see Draper feature over the course of the long footballing season, particularly in Papa John’s Trophy games where he could be eased back in.

For the time being, Kennedy’s focus will be on Saturday’s home game against Charlton Athletic. It will be the first home game in 25 days, where the Imps will welcome back familiar faces in Connor McGrandles and Jack Payne.