Connor Robinson Can Be Better Than Watmore
Connor Robinson, on loan at Gainsborough Trinity, has all the attributes to match Duncan Watmore, who signed for Sunderland this summer. However he and Jordan Thomas must take the opportunity to survive and thrive in the Conference North. If they do, in reality they are just one step away from The Skrill Premier and could be playing for the first team by Christmas.
The Lincoln Centre of excellence, has had some successes over the years, but with funding gaps to meet, it is perhaps understandable that it is unable to produce players ready to make their way in the fifth tier of English football. For the second year on the trot, none of those promoted to the first team have been able to make a regular contribution to the first team.
That is not meant as a criticism of the work done by the coaches at the C of E, but more the fact that The Conference is a tough League to play in and therefore a big physical step to take. It is also not down to the first team style under Gary Simpson because David Holdsworth, knew it too. For all his faults Holdsworth is a keen student of the lower Leagues and soon to be back in management if the rumours are to be believed. That therefore begs the question: Why not develop big strong lads capable of slotting straight in?
Not realistic sadly under the current funding set-up. Such a narrow focus would mean missing out on the lads who get the fees to keep it running and able to stand on its own two feet. In reality the biggest problem is the fact that the Imps do not have the luxury of a development or U21’s set-up like the big teams and therefore, come 18 years of age players, not only move jobs and companies (The Youth side is now a separately run and legal entity to the club) but are under pressure to deliver or be shipped out pretty quickly. It seems a cruel and wasteful world and it is, even Richard Butcher was shipped out from Northampton after his two-year YTS funded stint at Northampton along with 8 others, 5 of which went on to have full-time careers in the game.
Connor Robinson is missing just one thing to fill City’s needs which is why he has be loaned to Gainsborough Trinity. We need pace and the ability to go past people and shoot accurately, he has it in spades, however the physical size and rough and tumble at this level is for fighters first and lovers second, making it an hard for players and managers who have the heart and desire but not the fight. Connor has the ability to play at Championship level, any scout or coach can see that, he also has the work ethic and drive. However to make it you must prove yourself in competitive games, where people are going to muscle you off the ball,
Both Connor and Jordan have the undoubted ability, but the Imps need them to be physically strong enough to survive at the level we find ourselves at. That way they can rise above it and go on to star for the Imps before being sold on to bigger clubs. That has to be the future for Lincoln but 6 months to a year of watching Connor fulfilling his potential is worth the gate money on its own.