Imps Are Back – Time for a Recap.
Well the Mighty Imps are back, or at least back in training, with David Holdsworth pleased to report that his eager beavers are raring to go ahead of the release of the Blue Square Premier Fixtures on Monday July 2nd.
Adam Smith has of course joined and he clearly shows the sort of determination the side will need as we try to knit youth and exuberance, tenacity and technique , together with the financial limitations, wits, energy and reassuring determination, that our manager has at his disposal.
Smith was the last in, unveiled at a fans forum after the Imps Trust AGM 9 days ago. Few had expected it after news that the cupboards were bare and that the anticipated squad of 23 could well turn into one of 21 instead. But oh contraire, thanks to a family affair, as David, presumably brow beat brother Dean (who had him on loan last term and had made preliminary moves) to a winger with style, guile and a smile.
The Imps do, on paper at least, appear to have acquired wisely. Andy and Ashley Westward may be at opposite ends of their respective careers, yet both share a hunger and tenacity that will inspire their peers. That is something that we have missed for a few seasons now. Elliot Green & Dan Coupland have also been promoted from the youth team, the duo have the ability and the hunger that should make us proud. Fans generally have a lot more patience for our own born and bred, so this is unlikely to be a PR stunt for a manager who has had the ethos of Graham Taylor installed in his sometimes idiosyncratic psyche.
Gary Mills looks an excellent signing. He is a work-horse like preprocessor Thompson, yet his distribution is ten times better. Mills has the eye for a pass and can make time for himself in the middle of the park come rain or shine. He was pivotal in the Nuneaton BSN promotion side, who have enjoyed 3 promotions in 4 years. Let us hope he can continue his rise and inspire his team-mates to at least a play-off place. Frazer Cobb could well both learn from and partner him. He and Karl Cunningham were a class aprt in last season’s successful Midland Youth cup campaign.
Although we have only signed the one new striker in Duffy (Adam Smith can also do a job in a front two) City will hopefully be seeing Bradley Baraclough in all his glory. His sensational loan saw 11 goals in 10 starts and 8 substitute appearances in a struggling side, saw him named player of the season as he saved Buxton from relegation. Let us not forget we were also robbed of the services of Sam Smith and Jamie Taylor during injury plagued seasons. As for ex-Mariner Duffy, well you feel if the side clicks he can be our first 20 goal man since Yeo.
Holdsworth appears particularly impressed with the condition of the players upon their return and has put the players straight into fitness training. The pre-season friendlies are just 18 days away, with the squad splitting into two as the Imps travel to Worksop and Grantham on the same Wednesday evening. He will do the same the following week (24/7) as the Imps travel to Newark and Skegness United. Match fitness is as key as first 11 cohesion at this stage of the proceedings, with the manager keen to give the whole squad as much opportunity as possible to acclimatise to the match environment.
A big hand please for the Champions of Impdom.
Paul Farman, Nick Draper,
Paul Robson, Andy Boyce, Ashley Westwood, Josh Gowling, John Nutter, Elliot Green & Dan Coupland
Adam Smith, Gary Mills, Peter Bore, Alan Power, Jake Sheridan, Nicky Nicolau, Conal Platt, Frazer Cobb, Karl Cunningham
Rob Duffy, Sam Smith, Bradley Baraclough, Jamie Taylor.