Category Archives: Manager’s pearls of wisdom

Leeds Cellino, Sheffield Wednesday’s Milan & Lincoln City’s Chris Moyses: 3 Saviours Key Week

Leeds United, Sheffield Wednesday and Lincoln City are three clubs that deserve a break. Yes there are probably plenty of others that can put a decent case for success from tiers two to five in the football pyramid, yet the loyalty of  the supporters of these three have been tested to the limit given the heritage of the clubs and, the potential to compete at much higher levels. Were it not for three heroes the respective clubs would have buckled financially. As for the weight of expectation, well that is the thing that will ensure these three institutions will rise again, despite the challenges that still confront them, with the next seven days pretty key.

emblem Massimo Cellino faces the Football League this week, defending his right to continue to lead Leeds back from the brink.  If anyone is fit and proper in the people’s game it is one of the most passionate men in football.  A dream come true for the vulture press, from comedy of errors to villain to hero, the man holding folding for The Whites, has gone through managers almost as fast as the Leeds cash cow has gone through the Italian’s greens. Yet the fans love him – over twenty thousand signed a petition to get the League to change their mind –  yet still the League seek to ban him from being chairman until the middle of March.

emblemThis is a man who went in with the away support and sang during a hammering at Brentford, in that moment he epitomised and bonded – apt given the Leeds anthem Marching on Together, something that has kept this fantastic football club alive as it lurched from one crisis to another. You would think one on the League committee would realise that as he was a steward of the club during a head-on cash crash. Oh Massimo, insane no, idiosyncratic certainly, passionate definitely, Massimo Cellino is the man for all seasons – for all the right and just a technicality or two of wrong reasons.

emblemLeeds lost £23 million last season as they attempted to turn a huge ship. Think of an oil tanker that you need to put in reverse to ensure it stops in three miles time.  The League made no exceptions and promptly slapped a transfer embargo on a Leeds side that has youth at its heart but needs a few older heads to ensure it survives a relegation battle this season.  Love them or hate them football needs Leeds far more than it needs a committee that is quite happy to ignore parachute payment inequality yet preside over matters of fit proper and fairness as it munches through the prawn fuelled by financial windfalls from The Premiership.

Badge of Sheffield WednesdayTwo Christmas’ ago Milan Mandarić, the saviour of Sheffield Wednesday went round the Sheffield Children’s hospital. He ensured the board and players were there to a man and of course Owl, giving time and care with Milan doing every single bed personally.  One who clearly cares he had saved the club and this latest modest gesture made me realise  why he deserved the huge banner in the kop – yes Liverpool do not have the monopoly on that or home end passion whatever the media tell you. The message red  ‘The city is ours – Xbajia Milan’, (thank you’ in Serbian, Milan’s native tongue.

Badge of Sheffield WednesdayMilan has gone on to get the Owls promoted from League One humility – perhaps the hard earned virtues of the steel artisans – and then plugged £5 million a season losses in the championship, This has paved the way for Stuart Gray to cobble together a side that is four points from the play-offs. This, in the face of competition from the ex-Premiership princes who are rewarded with parachute payments in exchange for failure. Four thousand saw rebate rewarded Fulham beat the Owls 4-0 but they were unbowed. A packed away end at Forest yesterday sang non-stop and was rewarded with a 2-0 win over a side that spent big and nicked a much prized Owl to boot! Timely? Could be as this week a Thai consortium could well make some of the most incredible supporters in world football’s dreams come true, but only if Milan feels they care deeply for the club and can do it justice.

Badge of Sheffield WednesdayThe Owls had a deal collapse for £40 million in the autumn, this one will be ten million less, so it is not about money for Milan it is about passing a torch. A torch that lit the touch paper for the peoples’s game. For Sheffield rules football is where it all started, the steel city is arguably still the spiritual home of football. It was the birthplace and therefore to say The Wednesday have as much a top-flight birthright as The Arsenal, seems more than fair. A quick completion of the deal with the Serbian remaining as steward could give Gray the three players he needs in the window – and just maybe a fair wind to the promised land. It would be one in the eye for Fulham who spent £11 million on Leeds McCormack in August and Forest who robbed The Owls blind for winger Michail Antonio in the summer.

Lincoln city (2014).pngSo to Lincoln a club that has seen committee culture and poor stewardship ensure it has failed to realise its fantastic potential and even fall from the Football League. Where the City went forward the club did not until a local lad with gas connections, Chris Moyses, started putting his own money into the team recently. He needs to Lincoln are losing money and the team and budget continues to suffer with the fans suffering death by a thousand cuts as teams continue to scalp perceived giants in the Conference.  After beating the bottom feeders, a 3-1 win at local rivals Grimsby – thanks to a wonder goal from Charlee Adams (a Birmingham loan thanks to Moyses) – the Mighty Imps trounced top-dogs Barnet 4-1. Both Grimsby and Barnet have budgets 3 and 4 times more than Lincoln respectively.

Lincoln city (2014).pngYesterday 10-man Lincoln lost 4-0 to Eastleigh who missed four penalties and moved into fifth.  For the long suffering Imps it could have been just a bad day at the office, yet they still sit five points off Eastleigh and the play-offs. Yet one feels that Chris Moyses will continue to put football first at Lincoln now that he is a managing director in football terms ie the manager and a director. Lincoln pioneered that concept when chairman John Reames combined both roles. He also wore his heart on his shirt and Lincoln did see exciting times under him, albeit when he was back in the directors box.

Lincoln city (2014).pngLincoln hold the record for returns to the Football League and, although this may be a season too early perhaps the Moyses approach can work. He too is at a key moment this week. A win over Aldershot – the side that relegated The Imps in front of a teary battle weary 8,000 at Sincil Bank – will see his philosophy continue to restore the fantastic faith the Imps have. Defeat will be a sad slap in the face for the first Lincoln green shoots for many a season.

Lincoln city (2014).pngThe local lad, who is Lincoln born and bred and was a well-known face on the terraces in his time, has told his team to play their football as opposed to worrying about the competition. Brave indeed but when a youngster like Connor Robinson rounds off the rout in a 4-1 win over Barnet you know there is pride in his side. If that can infect the missing thousands Lincoln will return to the promised land. The City can and will sustain a Championship team one day.

 

 

Action Jackson Just 1 Piece Of Simmo’s New Forward Trio Jigsaw

Former Bristol City, Aldershot Town and Hereford United striker Marlon Jackson has signed on loan from Bury FC until we meet Grimsby Town on Boxing Day, In new City Striker Marlon Jackson we have someone who is coming to Sincil Bank to kick-start his and The Imps season. His first chance will be against Worcester City with the last against Grimsby Town on Boxing day in the mouthwatering Lincolnshire Derby. This could earn him a permanent deal but he and Tommo look to be just two of an exciting new trio at Sincil Bank.

Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs

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Marlon is a fantastic footballer, with skill, strength and determination, yet he has been unable to dislodge some big names and reputations ahead of him at Bury. His pace and skill should ensure his Sincil Bank gig will be a fruitful one, with manager Simmo eager to get him on a permanent deal in the summer before Bury stepped in.  Not only was the money a little rich for us, but a return to the league was just too much for the talented forward to turn down.

Hopefully this is a case of better late than never for both the player and the manager, with neither having too much luck on the goals front this season. Lincoln have been shorn of pace due to injuries to Yussuf and Wright, with the tall target man option also taken from us when Oliver was sold to Crewe.  Marlon is 6′ 1″ but even though he is not the target man the Imps seek, his ability to play anywhere across the front three suggests he is the first part of the jigsaw. The apex, or final piece, should come next week when a 6′ 3″ mystery long-term target man looks set to become available.

Of course for this to happen, the Imps need the £20,000 from the cup tie today, of which £12,500 comes from prize money to the winners.  Marlon has a knack for goals on his debut and he is certainly the live-wire we have been missing since Danny Rowe went down with injury.  With two new forwards in the side to take us through until Danny Boy is back in November, the Imps season will feel as if it is back up and running in the next few days.

Be Careful What You Wish For Imps

It is easy to understand the Frustration of Lincoln City fans, used to 6 years of decline with the Imp Spring now apparently clouding over with a vengeance ahead of a vital Cup tie.  Yet the knee jerk texts and post match comments are so wide of the mark it is not true. We need to move on beat Worcester, think before we speak and be even more careful what we wish for.

Vic Erzantarz delves into the current malaise 

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The post-match BBC Radio Lincolnshire texts and forum chatter would be amusing were it not for the  supposed popular opinion they purport to reflect.  Headlines and sound-bites catch the eye,  a Simmo out thread with an immediate only joking in the actual post has got the attention and in effect done the damage.  One fellow suggested that the manager bemoans his budget while Salisbury are using theirs to the full, indeed, the facts are that The Whites have a budget one and a half times that of Lincoln and, suffering with a remote location like the Imps, have ensured that all lengthy away trips will have an overnight stay. The STMI appeal, fell on largely unsympathetic and deaf ears, seeing the fans pitch in with 2 in addition to the 3 paid four by the board.  Fifteen were earmarked.

In fact, post match, the manager continued on his consistent path – perhaps that is why he says the same things –  lamenting the missed chances that failed to reward the hard work. It was one that saw him say that the board have helped as much as they can, affording him a little leeway to ensure that the budget will now be on a par with that of last season. Splendid, so stability assured that accounts for the club being 13th, given we have just been beaten by one of the title favourites and have a bottom third budget for the division.

The manager has also been accused of negative tactics and no plan B, despite the majority of the resources we have playing out of their skins and a 4-3-3 formation yesterday.  Alas playing Captain Power and Sheridan, is not going to get us far in the absence of Wright and Yussuf who have pace and panache. The incumbents do not look like scoring, Sheridan can never beat a man for pace and Power would struggle to get in the side if Fairhurst or Roe (ligaments) were fit.

The manager has wisely tried to play 4-2-3-1, the most balanced of attacking and defensive formations in the book, but you cannot allow for players who cannot shoot for toffee and your target man leaving, with Wright and Yussuff out and kicking their heels, as the rearguard action struggles to stay the inevitable.  To go 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1 would see the more profligacy in front of goal with a lot more goals conceded.

Lincoln’s problems clearly lay with goals, for despite 13 shots, no mean feat away from home at the Harriers, Tomlinson alone is the only man that looks like scoring. Injuries have taken their toll with Wright and Yussuf obviously the pace required for the rampaging runs that would make the attack-minded 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 click in the final third.  Roe is a massive miss and Fairhurst is just not at the races even with overlapping full-backs Newton and Miller putting in the low whipped crosses that he should be straining to poke home.

Wright did do that for our goal – a header to boot –  but he needs games after a torn hamstring. It was something the three advanced midfielders and Tommo had failed to do so in a first half that should have seen us go two up before Gash’s moment of brilliance plus his two assists to change the outcome of the game.  Storer got a 25-yard wonder-goal and an unfortunate deflection from Boyce put things beyond us, so we were a little hard done by against a side that was odds on to win before a ball was kicked.  Storer and Gash cost a weekly wage that is equivalent to 5-6 Lincoln first-teamers, added to the fact that it is only £14 to stand and watch them, this shows the cost base of our club off the field matched only by the loyalty of Lincoln fans, as another 205 travelled and sang throughout.

The problem with forwards (and decent midfielders) is that they cost money unless you get very lucky for a short-time. Oliver, like Yussuf had been threatened with a career ending injury that robbed him of his Wednesday dream. Lincoln like Burton gambled and took him on for a fraction of what he should be worth, just like Oliver who was on little more than an amateur would pick up.  Oliver worked out well so arguable we have used up any luck due.

Nathan Ellington, who has just joined Southport, is on two and a half times what we paid Oliver, or one and a half times the wage of a Lincoln player. For that the 32 year old does a Thursday training session and turns up for a game as well as enjoying a 9-5 job.  Moan and belittle the manager as much as we want, that is the economic reality that faces Lincoln and other fully professional non-league clubs with minute budgets. We might be honoured to wear the shirt but its a big ask for a player and father trying to feed a family in the current climate.

Yes the forwards are letting the rest of a promising and hard working side down, but we simply have to live with it until they either get up to speed or someone wins the lottery and gives more than 75 grand to the board in order to do our ambitions proud. That will not happen with just the one vote will it? Secondly with people sitting in a good position until the ground move is completed no businessman is going to add to his existing investment unless the club finances deteriorate. With crowds up that is unlikely any time soon.

So frustrating as it is Lincoln are where we are because of what we are, making a 5,000 stadium look more and more viable by the week to allow more of the budget the club generates to go into the first team.  It’s sad but reality and inaccurate knee-jerk comments will do us a lot less good than trying to live with it and just keeping the faith.   Hopefully we will be Worcester on Saturday and that will allow the manager to get a target man and a winger in, because currently he has only enough in the loan budget for one.  If you save one bullet – and its hardly a silver one – you tend to wait and use it when you absolutely have to, do you not?

A New Imps Striker must Observe Strict Wage & Budget Structure

Lincoln City, like many clubs,  find putting away the chances to be the only achilles to an otherwise harmonious and functional team.  This presents the club and manager with a problem, or should that be Pandora’s Box, when it comes to reinforcements.

Vic Erzantarz chews the cud

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Tomlinson has been fabulous in the loan striker role this season, but his in your face style will cost him bookings, it always has with double figures to be expected from the tough requirements of the ask. When Tommo reaches 10, not goals but yellows  he will miss two games.  He will inevitably land 10 this season, although the goals tally will exceed the card count from a player that does the miles on the pitch hoping for a sniff of goal. His next milestone could well coincide with the change to the pitches that will make the Imps passing game redundant in the swamps, sand pits or ruts of this league’s pitches until the new grasses of the spring.

 

Clearly the manager would only bring in better than he has got,  no easy task given the budget, the logical and subsequent wage structure plus the fact that the club is full-time and professional. With Imps on around eighteen thousand a year plus the top 8 bonus few full-time players with goals in them are likely to be tempted to drop or go from semi-pro to full-time.  Even the Skrill North sides are adding £150 appearance money to a players weekly wage, equating to £6,000 over the forty weeks (or 42 games) for one night and the Saturday gig – not bad overtime that is it?

In some ways with the club ‘spent up’  it saves the manager the hassle of trying to shoehorn a decent striker into a hard-working side at the risk of players in turn asking for more on the grounds of fairness.  This leaves him only the loan market, where funds afford him very little either, but at least the clubs contribution to higher wages will not put noses out of joint. Loan contributions could get us a £1000-1500 a week striker for a month or two, if we are paying half to a third of his wages.

Players are out of a side for various reasons which presents opportunities and potential liabilities, making the gamble a hard one if you only have the one shot.  Aldershot have four from the higher divisions and have and will chew through more during the season. Five is the maximum in a match day squad, a luxury that Lincoln do not need to be concerned with for the foreseeable future.

 

 

October’s The Acid Test For Imps

The Imps face Nuneaton Town, Tamworth FC, Aldershot FC, Kidderminster Harriers and the FA Cup 4th Round Qualifying fixtures in what will be a pivotal month for the clubs ambitions.  The Conference clubs do not come into the FA Trophy, sponsored by Carlsberg until the 1st Round on 30th November.

Vic looks to the immediate future

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Sa 5/10/13 Nuneaton Lincoln City
Tu 8/10/13 Lincoln City Tamworth
Sa 12/10/13 Lincoln City Aldershot
Sa 19/10/13 Kidderminster Lincoln City
Sa 26/10/14 FAC 4th Qualitying TBA

October is a massive but vital month for our aspirations on both the promotion and financial fronts.  Second placed Nuneaton will either give manager Kevin Wilkin the reaction he wants tomorrow or slump to a fourth successive defeat, suggesting the early promise was just a flash in the pan.  Moult the top Skrill Premier marksman, with 9, will need to be kept quiet.  Next comes Tamworth under big spending Dale Belford, who could well bring Jones back for a revenge mission at Sincil Bank next Tuesday.  The Lambs are 20th for all the cash they have splashed, after three defeats in the last four, but they did manage a spirited 2-1 win at Forest Green.

The Saturday game also sees us at home, this time against Aldershot, back from the dead but spending merrily on some talented players. If one adds back the ten point deduction the Shots would be just two points behind the Imps.  The trip to 3rd placed Kidderminster is going to be tough with the Harriers showing their quality and promotion credentials with  4 wins a draw and just one defeat in the last 6. They, runaway leaders Cambridge and Luton will be the three to ultimately challenge for the title this season, but if the Imps can get 7-9 points from the next four the play-offs should be seen as for more than a pipe dream.

The FA Cup is Lincoln’s most lucrative potential earner this season, with £12,500 for a win in the 4th Qualifying round at the end of the month. Get through that one and we have the chance of some TV cash too, with £67,000 per team for a First Round match or £33,000 apiece for a replay plus £18,000 for the winners. These figures exclude gate receipts, with season tickets invalid suggesting a 2,000 crowd would yield each side £9600 after the FA take a cut.  These numbers will allow the flexibility and financial freedom in January to ensure Lincoln had not just hold out against predatory clubs after our existing players, but also allow for some reinforcements for a play-off push.

Simmo Facing Selection Headache

Summer captures Nick Wright (Mansfield Town) and Adi Yussuf (Burton Albion) look set for a return against Salisbury City this Sincil Bank super Saturday. However the form of Sheridan, Rowe and Fairhurst suggests the manager will have to make some tough decisions despite Captain Alan Power facing the last of his three match ban.

Fox Mulder investigates

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Simpson must be pinching himself going into September after crusing through a tough opening six in August. This was made somewhat more difficult with Yussuff missing every game and pacey Wright getting just 106 minutes of football before a hamstring pull rules him out 35 minutes into the Macclesfield 1-0 home win, just the second game of the season.

Simmo will also have to chose between Gray and Miller at right back, with Foster Fofana and Nolan, knowing three into two wont go. The lads are a consiistent and united bunch as the stats below show.

 

Name Tot Ave
Farman 7 6 6 7 8 8     42 7
Miller       8 7 8     23 7.7
Newton 7 7 9 8 8 9     48 8
Jordan       7         7 7
Boyce 8 7 8 9 9 9     50 8.3
Fofana 7 6 8   10 8     39 7.8
Fairhurst     9   7 8     24 8
Power 6 7 7 7         27 6.8
Rowe   7 7 8 7 8     37 7.4
Wright 6 7             13 6.5
Tomlinson 6 7 8 8 9 9     47 7.8
Sheridan       7 7 7     21 7
Yussuf                    
Gray 7 7 7   8       29 7.3
Robinson                    
Nolan 7 7 7 7 7 8     43 7.2
Dixon 7 7   7 7       28 7
Brown 8 9 8 8 9 8     50 8.3
KK                    
Foster 9 8 7 8 7 9     48 7.8

 

Simmo Wants Win – Can Imps Go Top?

Gary Simpson has assembled a team to be proud of and one that could go top if they beat Dartford FC on Saturday.  Its time to sharpen your horns and polish your hooves Imps because these Imps can stand on the shoulders of football men.  In a rousing pre-match battle cry to raise the heckles the manager describes the side as ‘Winners’ who “want to wear the shirt’ and are ‘ working their absolute stones off’. Quality! STMI have been telling you for some time that this will be our year, but the optimism of the the manager is just what this City needed to hear.

Thanks for Reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs

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Simmo has assembled a team of winners  – nothing short of a miracle given the £400,000 budget afforded him – but it is the desire in the dressing room and a tightness in a squad that is the real edge. Every player knows when they come in on a Monday that they have a chance of playing a part in the RISE of THE IMPS, perhaps that is why Simmo has never had a bad dressing room.  They can rely on him and therefore Simmo can rely on them.

Its Simples as Simmo says.

“I learned a while ago that the more you fill your dressing room with winners, the better chance you have of winning. These lads are working so hard for each other and they are getting their just rewards.”

There are no cliques in the Team Lincoln dressing room and it shows with Lincoln enjoying their best start for 6 years.  The Imps have yet to win away having drawn with Woking and lost 0-1 to highly fancied Cambridge, but Dartfort could be the start of something big.  For too long our wonderful football club has underachieved.  Now is the time to start believing that we can make a record 7th return to the Football League.

 

 The Table 29/8/13

P W D L F A +/- PTS
1 Barnet 5 3 2 0 9 2 +7 11
2 Cambridge United 5 3 2 0 9 3 +6 11
3 Nuneaton Town 5 3 2 0 8 4 +4 11
4 Lincoln City 5 3 1 1 5 2 +3 10
5 FC Halifax Town 5 3 1 1 9 9 0 10
6 Kidderminster Harriers 5 3 0 2 9 7 +2 9
7 Alfreton Town 5 3 0 2 9 8 +1 9
8 Southport 5 3 0 2 6 6 0 9
9 Forest Green Rovers 5 2 2 1 12 4 +8 8
10 Welling United 5 2 2 1 8 6 +2 8
11 Hereford United 5 2 2 1 7 5 +2 8
12 Grimsby Town 4 2 1 1 6 4 +2 7
13 Braintree Town 5 2 1 2 5 5 0 7
14 Luton Town 5 1 3 1 3 2 +1 6
15 Dartford 5 2 0 3 3 7 -4 6
16 Wrexham 5 1 2 2 8 10 -2 5
17 Tamworth 5 1 2 2 3 5 -2 5
18 Woking 5 1 1 3 5 8 -3 4
19 Salisbury City 5 1 1 3 3 6 -3 4
20 Macclesfield Town 5 0 3 2 5 7 -2 3
21 Hyde 4 0 2 2 5 14 -9 2
22 Gateshead 5 0 1 4 6 11 -5 1
23 Chester 5 0 0 5 2 12 -10 0
24 Aldershot Town (-10) 5 2 1 2 6 4 +2 -3

Simmo’s “21” Mystery

Everyone has noticed the yellow socks on the calves one cannot miss, yet the omission of the number 21 on his socks and the appearance of the same on his shorts and training apparel has completely gone under the radar at Bomber command Sincil Bank.

Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs

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21 was the squad number Richard Butcher wore at Macclesfield. Gary Simpson felt it right to retire it upon his death on 9th January 2011, just 13 days before his thirtieth birthday. He wears that number and has avoided using it as a squad number in Butch’s honour, respect is a big thing with Lincoln’s manager.

It has swept Sincil Bank since it arrived, fuelled by an energy and drive to finish a mission at Lincoln in honour of Keith Alexander and Butch, two great mates Simmo had to bury within 10 months of each other. So when the Lincoln job came up it was a dream come true.

When Edgar Davids arrogantly took the number one shirt in a haze of publicity for Barnet, our manager had donned 21 as a quiet mark of respect. So give him time because respect for our football club, its fans and of course fallen Imps Keith and Richard, will drive Simmo and Grant Brown 24/7/365 in their pursuit of happiness for Lincoln City FC and our dreams.  Both are Lincoln through and through.

From Sunderland To Leicester To Lincoln – Who Is Grant Brown

Grant Brown should soon be made Lincoln Assistant manager on a full time basis after his own former assistant Damian Froggatt was named as the new head of youth at Sincil Bank. Our record appearance holder left the field of play after 447 appearances in all competitions to join the youth set up and then become our caretaker manager on three occasions in our time of need. He also assisted Iffy when Jacko was ill so Grant really is the rock we have come to rely on. You just know The Hoof will have been behind the Sunderland friendly and maybe even some loans besides……………….

Thank you for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs

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Grant was born in Sunderland in 1969 (he still has the accent and is almost as big a black cat fan as that mighty hoof that would rival a six-iron) and scouted by Leicester City, who signed the determined centre back at the age of 13. Grant made his debut in the middle of his A-levels and after 17 years in the game finished his career back in the classroom by taking his coaching badges. Grant only made 12 League & 2 league Cup appearances for the second division Foxes before Colin Murphy – a big mentor – rescued him from the reserves in 1988/89. Grant and Paul Groves joined the Imps on loan whilst protracted negotiations continued over a £150,000 deal for Tony James the other way.

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Grant and Paul made their debuts in a 0-1 League Cup defeat at Molineux against Wolves but Groves was then sent back after the month. Grant was retained for another month before he managed to twist John Reames arm to the tune of £63,000. A club record at the time we and ‘Murph’ had to have him so Mr Reames (RIP) – bless him – found the cash. Colin Murphy was the first of 11 managers for Grant at the Imps – some good and some bad – including the Chairman himself. Mr Reames reasoned one day that he would be cheaper and just as good as ex-players and the has-beens who had failed at other clubs.

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Hoof Grant was an immense ever-present figure at the heart of our defence and the first name on the team sheet for 12 years. He certainly traded the red and White stripes of Sunderland for those of Impdom and should you ever hear him talk to our youngsters you can tell he has Imp blood coursing through those Geordie veins. Every side he sends out understand what Lincoln City is all about – walk up the posh stairs to sign your first contract and a life size picture of grant is on the wall. Respect goes a long way to building a reputation, the old fashioned values will never die.

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In 1999/2000 with the debt time bomb ticking , Grant overtook Tony Emery’s appearance record of 424 League and cup games in an LDV Vans Trophy game against Morecambe in the November. He then broke his leg at home toHullwhich kept him out for nine-months so we had to wait a while for him to break the 403 League Games record (again held by Emery). It finally came on Tuesday 26th March 2002 in the derby against York at Bootham Crescent. Grant would make just 4 more appearance before being released. He would part company with his beloved Imps on a very sad note as we tottered towards the dreaded administration.

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Grant was offered a one year deal with Telford, followed by a two year, again near ever present stint at Alfreton (83 aps 1 goal). John Schofield, upon being given the managers job with John Deehan, insisted that Grant was the man to take over and nurture his babes. Grant, a man of his word, explained things to Worksop who released him – perhaps on the grounds of compassion, love or insanity – from one year deal he had just signed. This allowed him to play part-time for Grantham to make up his money, because Grant has always put the interests of Lincoln before the cash.

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Grant took over the first team reigns when Schoey and Deehan were sacked, before Jacko and Iffy took over. He then assisted Iffy Onuora during Jacko’s illness with Tom Spall running the youth set up. Upon Jackson’s return Simon Clark became first team coach, casting a doubt over his future. In July 2009 he was promoted to Assistant Head of Youth, taking over the head of Youth job when Tom Spall and Simon Clark took over after the sackings of Iffy and Jacko. Grant took over as caretaker manager for a second period on 10 October 2011 after Tilson got the boot. Having handed he keys to the managers door over to Reg October 2011 he got them back in 2013 until Simmo joined.

Even though Grant wanted the full job on two occasions he has never once looked elsewhere. Hoof is as loyal as they come and an outstanding servant of our football club.

STMI Biopic
Full name Grant Ashley Brown
Date of birth 19 November 1969 (age 43)
Place of birth Sunderland,
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Playing position Defender
Current gig-in-the-game
Current club Lincoln City
(Assistant Manager)
Senior  Stats
Tenure Team Apps
(Gls)
1988–1989 Leicester City 14 (0)
1989–2002 Lincoln City 447 (16)
2002–2003 Telford United 35 (0)
2003–2005 Alfreton Town 83 (1)
2005 Worksop Town 0 (0)
2005–2006 Grantham Town 42 (6)
Teams managed
2005–2012 Lincoln City (Youth team)
2007 Lincoln City (Joint caretaker)
2011 Lincoln City (caretaker)
2013 Lincoln City (caretaker)

Simpson’s Awash with Goal Machines

Who are Adi Yussuf (ex- Leicester City & Burton Albion) Nick Wright (ex-Mansfield, Kidderminster & Tamworth),  Danny Rowe (ex-Preston, Fleetwood & Man Utd) Wade Fairhurst (Doncaster Rovers & Macclesfield) and Ben Tomlinson (Macclesfield)? Indeed, but they are all up and running with Fairhurst joining the group with a stunning brace against Scunthorpe last night.  Incredibly these are all new signings, who could well follow in the wake of Gary Simpson’s spots (now on the way to £10 million and rising) and remember Captain Alan Power is also off the mark and he pitched in with 11 from midfield last season. One thing is for sure Lincoln’s goal machine list is growing by the minute. STMI takes a look at the Imps new prowess for scoring goals.

thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs.

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Adi Yussuf  already has three, Nick Wright a hat-trick and 3 assists, Danny Rowe a hat-trick and two assists,  Wade Fairhurst a brace and Ben Tomlinson is less than a week off the train from Alfreton with a penalty and the desire to catch up fast. Captain Alan Power already has two goals to his name, one a rather customary penalty plus a poachers finish at the far post. Bohan Dixon has two as well, both coming on his debut at Lincoln United during a rather succesful trial that earned him a deal.

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It is almost surreal for the shell-shocked Imps, their faith tested to the limits over the last few years. Relegation from the football League was followed by two relegation dog-fights in the Blue Square Premier, yet the passing attacking football looks set to emphasise Skill in the new Skrill Premier. With Imps scratching their eyes at a rare cup success last night, a giant killing to boot, albeit against a weakened Iron side from a League above, it appears to be raining goals at a club that has been shot shy and perennial underperformers at home for almost half a decade.

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Here are the contenders, in squad number order, for the crown of top goal machine at the Imps. Perhaps one may even match 21 goal hero Simon Yeo, the last player to get twenty for City almost a decade ago.  Feel free to click on the players name should you wish to see the full STMI biopic.

7  Wade Fairhurst

Macclesfield 2012/13  Stats

No NAME Starts Sub Mins Goals Shots Assists Fouls Fouled YC RC
20 Waide Fairhurst 31 12 2458 13 79 3 15 32 5

8  Alan Power   

2012/13 STMI ImpStats

Sq No NAME Starts Sub Mins Goals Shots Assists Fouls Fouled YC RC
5 Alan Power 38 3 3346 11 77 6 46 44 5 0

Danny Rowe 

Stockport & Barrow STMI 2012/13 Stats – 
No NAME Starts Sub Mins Goals Shots Assists Fouls Fouled YC RC
10 Danny Rowe 20 11  2264 5 16 6 n/a n/a 0 0

Mansfield STMI 2012/13 stats 

Sq no Player  Starts Sub Mins Goals Shots off Shots on Assists YC RC
27 Nick Wright 5 14 531 1 7 5 3 1 0

Kidderminster STMI 2011/12 stats 

Sq no Player  Starts Sub Mins Goals Shots off Shots on Assists YC RC
27 Nick Wright 23 20 2330 15 21 35 3 1 0

Alfreton STMI Stats 2012/13

No NAME Starts Sub Mins Goals Shots Assists Fouls Fouled YC RC
21 Ben Thomlinson 33 13 2583 14 55 2 41 22 10 1

14  Adi Yussuf 

Burton Albion  STMI Stats 2012/13
No NAME Starts Sub Mins Goals Shots Assists Fouls Fouled YC RC
18 Adi Yussuf 3 8 409 1 14 0 11 6 1 0