Category Archives: Youth Matters
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.
Chris Moyses Lincoln City U14’s won the famous Bradford City youth Tournament yesterday with Gary Simpson casting his eye over the clubs future stars and eager to meet & greet the parents and of course have a few encouraging and philosophical words with the young lads.
Thank you for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs
After beating everyone in the round-robin phase, without conceding a single goal, our under U14’s met League cup runners up Bradford City in the semi-final. The Imps triumphed 1-0, in a game full of technique, passing and movement. Alas we cannot name the players, or show pictures, without the full permission of parents due to the law. Feel free to get in touch with STMI via the comments page, should you wish your lad to get the credit they deserve.
In the final we played a German U15’s representative side, a year older than our lads. With nothing between the two sides, and the spectre of penalties nearing, the Imps triumphed with a late golden goal to end proceedings.
The lads will parade the trophy prior to the Cambridge City game this afternoon. Our centre of Excellence is a testimony to the money and endeavour of Chris Moyses the Youth set up saviour. With the Imps facing a £91k halving of funding from 2011/12, followed by a full £182k the following season, the millionaire owner of EM Contracting has stepped in and plugged the gap.
Dean West a former trainee and Imp (just like Chris Moyses) has just agreed to become a fund-raising ambassador this week. Chris, of course, came from our youth set-up, to a first team début against Scunthorpe, then a career at Halifax before returning to run the show. Its full circle then for the Imps and Chris, now a director and true stakeholder at the Imps Fountain Of Youth, as well as owner of EM Contracts – who have more gas than Bristol Rovers.