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Chris Sutton & Terry Butcher Helping Greg Dyke’s Grass Roots Revolution in Lowestoft?

Former Norwich City,  Blackburn Rovers and Celtic FC star  Chris Sutton and Ipswich Town, Rangers FC & England demi-god Terry Butcher met up with grass roots talent guru Greg Dyke last week as The FA Chairman continues to show his commitment to the future development of English talent with a tour of  Lowestoft in Suffolk. Here and throughout the local FA family a series of football facility improvements have given a major boost to grassroots football in the area. It’s great to see that Chris Sutton appears to be showing his coaching ability after a managerial experience at Lincoln almost saw him lost to the game.

Co-funded by the The FA, Premier League and the Government,  through umbrella organisation  Sport England,  The Premier League and The FA Facilities Fund is actually delivered by the Football Foundation, the country’s largest sports charity.  If you are up with that let us move onto some very impressive numbers. Since the 2000 launch 13,000 grants worth more than half a billion pounds  have gone to improving grass roots sport. This has led to additional partnership funding of more £700m  equating to £1.2bn plus of inward investment into grass roots.

After the ribbon cutting exercise at the  state-of-the-art new pavilion  Mr Dyke also toured two other locations that have received just over £1 million between them from the fund. The facilities showcased in Lowestoft are mirrored nationally through the FA’s partnerships with the Football Foundation and County Football Associations who do a fabulous but often forgotten job. Mr Dyke also took in an FA Skills coaching session at the refurbished Dip Farm Playing Fields. The FA Skills programme has a spine of 158 qualified coaches and has already offered 6 million places to 5-11 year olds across the country. It puts particular emphasis on fun and technique hoping to aid the development of transferable life-skills such as team building and social skills to breed confidence.

Mr Dyke said:

“I’m delighted that The FA has been able to play its part in making these tremendous new facilities at Dip Farm a reality and I commend all the partners that have come together to make this happen. Through the Football Foundation, The FA has helped to develop 1,700 sites like this across the country demonstrating our commitment to securing the foundations of grassroots football.

“And it is great to see an FA Skills session taking place because encouraging participation from an early age and providing adequate facilities, as demonstrated here at Dip Farm, are the heartbeat of the National Game.”


Terry Butcher and Chris Sutton, two former players with strong connections to Lowestoft – albeit with allegiances from opposites sides of the East Anglian footballing divide – were also on hand to take the tour and were impressed by the facilities

Former England captain Terry Butcher said:

“Lowestoft is smack bang in the middle of a very fierce footballing rivalry with Norwich one way and Ipswich the other – but it is also a strong footballing town in its own right.

“I was raised in Lowestoft and remember kicking a ball around as a youngster and this tour brings back lots of great memories from the place where I got my first real taste of football. It’s wonderful to see the work that The FA is doing to boost football in the area through the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund.”


Chris Sutton had this to say:

“Good coaching from an early age is key, not only to raising the standards of football played at the higher levels, but also for building enthusiasm and love of the game at grassroots. What is great about the work in Lowestoft is that we are witnessing how better coaching, participation and facilities, feed into one and other and strengthen the National Game as a whole.”


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Miller Set For Blackburn Rovers Strikers Challenge

Southport FC’s new addition from Blackburn Rovers, striker Osayamen Osawe, will pose another test for Tom Miller tonight.  Miller too has Rangers FC, Norwich City and Newport County credentials on his CV but the 20-year old wonder-kid has already impressed at Southport and is blessed with electric pace and an eye for an early but lethal strike with either foot.  Then again Miller has recovered from the cruciate injury that wrecked his Rangers dream.


 Lincoln City F.C. badge.png V  SouthportFC.png 

Tuesday 17th September KO 19.45

Osawe rose through the youth ranks at Blackburn  and had been loaned to Hyde and Accrington before making the switch to Southport on August 8th this year. He was 20 last Friday the 13th but his shot accurasy suggests he is anthing but lucky or a flash in the pan. So far he has scored two, got 7 more on target with just two misses.  Tom needs to get in early because it will be an interesting duel down their left and our right, tonight, with Osawe scoring the winner against Aldershot, then getting one against Tamworth coming from the left. he also had a stormer in the 2-2 draw with Welling.

No NAME St Sub Mins G On M Ass F’s F’ed YC RC
2 Miller 4 0 360 0 0 0 0 4 6 1 0
3 Osawe 5 2 460 2 9 2 3 5 4 1 0

But Miller is not one for names and reputations.  In his post match interview on Saturday he, like the rest of the Imps squad feels Lincoln should fear no one, as long as we keep it tight. The counter-attacking style might frustrate some but 574 happy punters, who made the long trip to North London, appreciate that patience is a virtue.

He may have a point. Nuneaton beat The Sandgrounders with two long throws, Tom’s speciality, suggesting he could have a pivotal part to play tonight.   Tamworth hurt them with set-pieces in another 4-1 defeat on the road.  If Tom and co can keep Osawe and Fitzpatrick quiet down our right, to starve Hattersley, we could be in for three points tonight.

Southport Using Blackburn & Blackpool connections well

Alan Wright has raided Blackburn Rovers, Blackpool FC and Fleetwood Town with Stockport County striker Hattersley also set to cross swords with his former colleagues at Sincil Bank tomorrow.  Add former Blackburn Rovers striker Osayamen Osawe (2 in 2 games) into the mix and it is pretty easy to see why  The Sandgrounders are just a point behind the Imps and fancied for the play-offs.

Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs



Former Villa, Blackburn, Blackpool and Fleetwood star Alan Wright’s signings do look to be a great use of a bottom third budget for the division.  As a former defender one would expect him to start from the back. Danny Hurst was a decent keeper at Barrow despite relegation. Defenders Challoner (Blackpool) and Fitzpatrick (New Mills) and free agent Matt Flynn are wise acquisitions.  Luke George can play in defence or midfield and was pulling up roses at Stafford Rangers.

Jamie Milligan from his ex-club Fleetwood is a steadying influence in the middle as is Rutherford from Barrow. Another new midfielder, Scott Brown, helped Chester to promotion and ex manager Neil Young stated that “his attitude and professionalism was an example to others”.  Striker Danny Hattersley arrives from Stockport and he will be some force up front with Steven Tames.

Wright has also changed from a 4-3-3 formation to Simmo’s cosmopolitan 4-2-3-1 with wins over Luton Town, Aldershot and  Gateshead suggest this will be a tough nut to crack.  Then again their away form is poor with just one win against Hyde and three defeats including the 1-4 reverse at Tamworth.

IN Player From Pos Fee
28th June Danny Hattersley Stockport For
25th June Jamie Milligan Fleetwood Mid
25th June Paul Rutherford Barrow Mid
17th May Danny Hurst Barrow Keeper
2nd July Luke George Stafford Rangers Def/Mid Free
13th July Scott Brown Chester Mid
13th July Matt Flynn Free agent Def
25th July Matt Challoner Blackpool Def
26th July David Fitzpatrick New Mills Def
8th August Osayamen Osawa Blackburn Striker
OUT Player To Pos Fee
July Alan Moogan AFC Telford
July Russell Benjamin AFC Telford
June Simon Grand AFC Telford
June Neil Byrne AFC Telford
June Chris Lever AFC Telford
May Sean Clancy

Stoke Dilemma: Can Hughes Or Di Matteo Eclipse Pulis Power

The Stoke City job appears to be going to former Blackburn Rovers, Manchester City, QPR and Fulham boss Mark Hughes, although Roberto Di Matteo (who has managed MK Dons, WBA and Chelsea FC) looks to be the latest of the ex-Chelsea contingent (Gus Poyet has been approached too) to be linked with one of the Premiership’s toughest asks.  Chelsea charm comes with cash, whilst Stoke’s Premiership lineage has been forged as much through perspiration as inspiration. Pulis power is about physical prowess, under him the realism of the artisan’s toil, reaps hard won returns and the reliability of regular rewards. But that is not enough for some, who chastise long ball football and the stiff necks that come from looking skywards. But how many ex-Premiership chairmen later lament reaching for the very same sky.

Thankyou for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs.

Tony Pullis has never been relegated as a manager, but image and perception is so much more than substance, facts & stats and the boring, solid day-to-day stuff that goes on behind the scenes. We live in a media-orientated world alright, where the people’s game seems to be less and less about traditional values and the virtues of hard-work, particularly once  the Premiership glitz and glamour has caught owners in its midst.  Stoke’s owners may feel they are secure and ready to take the next step, but in reality they start on zero points in three months time like everyone else. Ambition may also be a great virtue, a wonderful way to fill a stadium, but failure empties a stadium of the fickle fans, faster than a winger can skin a full-back.

If carpet football is the top priority for Stoke City, then Roberto Di Matteo is the man to bring it. But he, like favourite Hughes, who will bring a more physically robust approach to the table, will need plenty of cash to take the Potters to the next level. Many have tried and failed to break into the Premiership’s platinum plated cartel.  Failure in the Premiership brings a short sharp shock to many sides who fall not once but twice before steadying the ship again. Ask Sheffield Wednesday, Manchester City, Norwich, Charlton et al.  But football is about theatre, dreams and optimism, so here is a run down of the two who could take Stoke City to the next level.


Mr Di Matteo started his career well at MK Dons, succeeding Paul Ince in 2008. He took the, perhaps unfairly nicknamed, Franchise club to the League 1 play-offs in his first season, losing the semi to Scunthorpe. It was enough to get him the WBA job, where he repaid the faith with an instant return to the Premiership, as runners up behind Newcastle.  Despite getting hammered at Chelsea on the opening day of the 2010/11 season the Baggies recovered well earning Mr Di Matteo a manager of the month award in the September. The swashbuckling style was superb, sweeping counter attacking carpet football, played, perhaps, as only a sweet-toothed Swiss-Italian can conjure.  The defensive side of the Italian game let him down when the wheels well and truly came off the cart. One win in ten cost him his job, with Michael Appleton replacing him, steadying the ship sufficiently to finish 11th.

After failing to get the Birmingham job, Chelsea cast him a lifeline as assistant manager to AVB. Upon his sacking in March 2012 Mr Di Matteo took the helm, winning the FA Cup and UEFA Champions League. Although this was a fantastic and unique double, many will argue he did little but reverse the square pegs that had been put into round holes by AVB.  That Chelsea side was and still is, nothing short of breath-taking on their day, with a midfield that is a credit to world football. To follow that first three months anywhere, would be a tough ask, but then to please Mr Abramovich is a whole different ball game. After just 8 months in charge he was gone ,dividing fans and pundits alike. Even a champion of the glass half-full club five minutes before closing time, could not envisage Stoke being able to give him the head start he enjoyed at MK Dons and Chelsea. To change the style of the side to his way of thinking will take the sort of time and cash they will not have in the Potteries next season. The romantic in us hopes so for the underdogs sake, but surely it is to dream the impossible dream?

Roberto’s Record

Club Managed Start End Record
G W D L Win %
Milton Keynes Dons 2008 2009 52 27 11 14 51.92
West Bromwich Albion 2009 2011 83 40 19 24 48.19
Chelsea 2012 2012 42 24 9 9 57.14
Overall Record 177 91 39 47 51.41

Mr Hughes has a decent win percentage (39.53%) but he has had the money at every club he has been at. After the less than dreamy, perhaps impossible and deary, dragon’s den days in the fiery Wales job, he guided Blackburn to a top six finish and UEFA cup qualification. The expensive rebuild in the summer of 2005 saw Rovers finish tenth, with a somewhat physical reputation. In the four years Mr Hughes held the helm at Ewood Park his side finished bottom of the Premier fair play League, but never finished outside of the top ten and managed three FA Cup semi finals.  Mr Hughes then chose Manchester City over Chelsea (2008/9) but, despite spending tens of millions (Robinho alone cost £32 million) City could only finish a disappointing tenth. They did reach the UEFA Cup quarter-finals but alas, decent home form cannot make up for frequent no shows on the road. Mr Hughes card was marked, much to the benefit of his bank balance one supposes.

After a year out he also managed just a season at Fulham,  before questioning the club’s ambition. Will Stoke be able to afford him that level, or will it end in a spat similar to the one at the Lillywhites, one that saw owner  Mohamed Al-Fayed call Mr Hughes a “strange man” and a “flop”? Mr Hughes soon returned to management with awash with money club QPR in January 2012 and kept them up. An expensive rebuild saw Rangers worst ever start to a top flight season, as they went 12 without a win. Stoke, at a crossroads, will certainly hope history does not repeat itself should he get the job.

The Mark Hughes Clues.

Club Start End Record
G W D L Win %
Wales Sep 1999 Sep 2004 41 12 15 14 29.27
Blackburn Rovers Sep 2004 Jun 2008 188 82 47 59 43.62
Manchester City Jun 2008 Dec 2009 77 36 15 26 46.75
Fulham Jul 2010 Jun 2011 43 14 16 13 32.56
Queens Park Rangers Jan 2012 Nov 2012 34 8 6 20 23.53
Overall Record 382 151 99 132 39.53

Tony Pulis Record

Just for the record, here is what Tony Pulis has done. One has to feel that some club will be lucky to have him. Bournemouth (Div 3 Champions 1986/87), Gillingham (Promoted as runners up Div 3 1995/96 and Div 2 Play-off winner 1998/99) and Stoke (Promoted as Championship runners up 2007/8, FA Cup runner up 2010/11) all did well under him, albeit ‘enjoying’ some physical, long ball tactics.

Club Start End Record
G W D L Win %
Bournemouth 9 June 1992 5 August 1994 107 31 38 38 28.97
Gillingham 31 July 1995 1 July 1999 216 94 62 60 43.52
Bristol City 5 July 1999 14 January 2000 33 10 14 9 30.30
Portsmouth 13 January 2000 12 October 2000 35 11 10 14 31.43
Stoke City 1 November 2002 28 June 2005 131 47 32 52 35.88
Plymouth Argyle 23 September 2005 14 June 2006 39 12 15 12 30.77
Stoke City 14 June 2006 21 May 2013 333 122 98 113 36.64
Total 894 327 269 298 36.58

Lincoln Want 1 Nottingham Crown Jewel Back Then?

Former  Nottingham Forest and Macclesfield Town left-back Tony Diagne is hopefully mulling over a deal to join Lincoln City.  The lad who almost made a move to Leeds United and Blackburn Rovers last season, before Macclesfield turned down a loan deal with  Bury, would be a landmark signing and get season ticket sales rolling.  Poetic justice perhaps in a week that saw The Lincoln City Ladies up sticks to Notts County. So could Simmo get one of the Lace City’s forgotten crown jewels to join the Imps? Sincil Salivates, for the pride of Impdom can yet be restored?

Thank you for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs 

Tony returned to home-town club Aubervilliers, after being released by Forest, having grown through the ranks under John Pemberton. JP had been instrumental in a conveyor-belt of talent at The City Ground for the best part of a decade.  Gary then talked him into giving English football a second chance, with a move to the Silkmen half way through the 2011/12 season.  Tony, a set-piece specialist, repaid the faith by getting his first goal against Hereford just a week in. He has pace and a tenacious nature, that just does not accept defeat. This was recognised with Gary extending his Silkmen stay from the end of the 2010/11 season to 2011/12.


Despite Macc selling the family silver and relegation, there were enquiries from Leeds United and Blackburn, before Bury (League 1) also had a loan bid turned down by new Macc boss King.  This faith paid dividends, particularly against DiCanio’s Swindon in November.  Tony got two, one a forty-yard hay-maker of a free-kick.

His secret loan deal along with hero Nat Brown took everyone by surprise and played a big part in halting in-form Woking in their tracks, as the gallant Imps came from behind to snatch a point. In 7 action packed appearances Tony was fantastic for us last season until injury curtailed his involvement. His brilliant brace at Braintree and all-round contribution was a major factor in keeping us up.

Enticer Simpson has always rated the 22 year and signed him from French club CM Aubervilliers in 2011 as well as bringing him to the Imps on loan last season.  Tony is convalescing in France at the moment, following that nasty ankle gash, but should return in the next couple of weeks. Sincil Salivates, for the pride of Impdom can yet be restored……

Sq No NAME Starts Sub Mins Goals Shots Assists Fouls Fouled YC RC
14 Tony Diagne 7 0 610 2 11 1 5 2 2 0
FULL NAME Anthony Diagne
DATE OF BIRTH 7 September 1990 (age 22)
PLACE OF BIRTH Aubergenville, France
CURRENT CLUB Macclesfield Town
2007–2010 Nottingham Forest
YEARS Team Apps (Gls)
2010–2011 CM Aubervilliers n/a (?)
2011–DATE Macclesfield Town 84 (6)
Appearances and goals include League, FAC, LC and FT

Will Imps Or Lambs Win 4-0 this time you ask?

Mansfield centre back John Dempster (loan) and  former Blackburn Rovers striker Jemal Johnson (non-contract terms) have been added to a squad that saw 16 ins and 9 outs in the summer.  Marcus Law has also seen an early dividend from Adam Cunnington who has bagged 7 goals since his own summer move from Dagenham & Redbridge. Oliver and Larkin are also in form ahead of a fixture that saw 4-0 home wins in both encounters last season.  In a twist of the Mint sauce jar, the talented Lambs have seen home form let them down, yet they are the BSP’s best travelled side, having won 2-0 at Gateshead last time out.

Thank you for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs & Prof Albeanz-Present

 Logo  VLincoln City F.C. badge.png

Saturday  22nd September K.O 3 pm

Away Fans Prices Adults £14 Cons £9 U16 £4 U 5’s Free Meadow Street Terrace also LIMITED seating @ £16 call 01827 65798 for details


STMI extends a warm welcome to  Tamworth fans visiting the site, let’s cut to the chase and go look at the form of the foe.

 Logo The Foes  Form

Lambs League Legacy

Results    Breakdown                  
Gateshead 0                    
Tamworth 2 Overall Record
Tamworth 1   G W D L F A GD Pts Pos
Barrow 3 Home Record 4 1 1 2 4 6 -2 4 18
Mansfield 2 Away Record 5 3 0 2 9 6 3 9 1
Tamworth 0 Overall Record 9 4 1 4 13 12 1 13 11
Braintree Town 2                    
Tamworth 1 The Last 5’s
Tamworth 0   G W D L F A GD Pts Pos
Wrexham 1 Last 5 5 1 0 4 4 8 -4 3 20
Southport 0 Last 5 Home 4 1 1 2 4 6 -2 4 18
Tamworth 3 Last 5 Away 5 3 0 2 9 6 3 9 1
Tamworth 1                    
Stockport 0                    
Tamworth 2 Monthly Form Summary 
Hereford 2   G W D L F A GD Pts Pos
Dartford 2 August 5 3 1 1 9 5 4 10 4
Tamworth 3 September 4 1 0 3 4 7 -3 3 20

Logo Transfer Dealings

 Marcus Law rung the changes during the summer and reseeded the New Lawn with 16 out and 9 in: 2 Strikers Tommy Wright from (Forest Green Rovers), Adam Cunnington from (Dagenham);  5 Midfielders, Lee Hendrie (Redditch & ex Aston Villa), Jamie Smith (Burton), Peter Till (Fleetwood), Marcus Kelly (Kettering), Lloyd Kerry (Hinckley United); Defender Tom Marshall from (Kidderminster); plus two new Keepers, Tony Breedon from (Kidderminster), James Wren (Burton). 

IN- Midfielder Lloyd Kerry from Hinckley United
IN- Keeper James Wren from Burton
IN- Midfielder Peter Till from Fleetwood
IN- Midfielder Marcus Kelly from Kettering, 
IN- Striker Adam Cunnington from Dagenham, 
IN- Striker Tommy Wright from Forest Green Rovers 
IN- Midfielder Lee Hendrie from Redditch.
OUT- Paul Green to Forest Green Rovers
IN- Midfielder Jamie Smith from Burton.
IN- Keeper Tony Breedon from Kidderminster.
IN- Defender Tom Marshall from Kidderminster.
Out Jonathan Hedge to Cambridge United

Logo   £££ – Ker-ching

Highest Home Gate 1433 Wrexham
Lowest home gate 892 Barrow
Average Home Gate 1215    
Total Turnstile Clicks 4860


 Heroes & Villains

Goal machines Goals   Assists
Cunnington 7 Till 2
Wright 2 Cunnington & Gudger 1
Collins & Till 1 Liabo & Dempster 1
Oji & Marshall 1 Marshall 1
Villains Yellows   Reds
Kerry 3 Wright 1
Oji & Barrow & Breedon 2    
Cunnington & Gudger 1    
Baldock & Tait 1    
Marshall & Wright 1    



Keeper corner – Tony Breedon

Tony is a good solid keeper who has kept clean sheets against  Gateshead, Mansfield, Stockport and Southport. Good communicator and brave, decent aerial command of his area and a great shot stopper. We could pressure him with crosses and he may just spill one or two.

Games Sub Conceded Saves Mins Played Clean sheets Mins per goal Yc’s Rc’s
9 0 11 40 810 4 74 2 0


The Lambs Squad


1 James Wren, 13 Tony Breedon,


 2 Richard Tait (Captain)5 Jordy Ivey-Ward 6 Tom Marshall
15 Duane Courtney 19 Scott Barrow, 24 Graham Law 25 Scott Meer 26 Jamie Smith,  29 Michael Girvan 30 Sam Oji, 33 John Dempster (loan from Stags)


3 Marcus Kelly, 8 Lee Hendrie, 18 Peter Till, 11 Lloyd Kerry,  16 Luke Bottomer 17 Connor Gudger 20 Jan Llado


7 Adam Cunnington, 9 Tommy Wright, 10 JP Marna, 
14 Kyle Patterson, 34 Jemal Johnson

Sutton, Tilson & Holdsworth Compared

Fans of Southend United, Sheffield United, Norwich City, Mansfield Town, Blackburn Rovers, Birmingham and Celtic will give mixed views on the playing and managerial abilities of  Chris Sutton, Steve Tilson and David Holdsworth.  Oh contraire, with despair in the air let’s compare while we Imps still have a little time to spare.

Thankyou for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs

Badge of Norwich City Blackburn Rovers.svgBadge of Birmingham CityCeltic crestSouthend United.svgSheffield United logoLogoLincoln City F.C. badge.png

Chairman Bob Dorrian has so far hired three managers. His first two, Steve Tilson and Chris Sutton saw bold two and a half year deals, however David Holdsworth was a different matter.  Last season he did not have a written deal, given instead a remit to keep us up. His new deal, signed this summer, runs until the end of the season.


Comparisons between the three are harsh, given the differing mandates and funds available. However football is a results led business and David Holdsworth appears to be holding up the rear in terms of wins and success rate. Despite the despondency we have scored more and conceded less, although the BSP and League 2 are very different beasts.

Manager G W D L F A Win %
Steve Tilson 15/10/2010 10/10/2011 37 11 7 19 44 72 29.73%
Chris Sutton 28/09/2009 28/09/2010 51 14 14 23 44 71 28.00%
David Holdsworth 31/10/2011 10/09/2012 41 11 11 14 54 59 26.82%

Transfer Policy

In terms of  players signed Mr Holdsworth leads the way with 45 deals. His closest rival Chris Sutton managed 30 (Facey, Watts & Anderson have been counted twice), although most were loans, suggesting he could not have cost us quite as much as the club made out. Sutton and Pearce called in favours from Martin O’Neill,  Roy Hodgeson, Pulis and Grayson.  Indeed many cost us only the accommodation, including life saver Somma from Leeds.

Manager Permanent deals Loan Signings
David Holdsworth 36 9
Chris Sutton 12 18
Steve Tilson 15 8

David Holdsworth

David Holdsworth’s signings took an entire article recently, for full details add Fofana and click here. All told if we include Mansfield he is now 103 for just the one wicket.  There is a wheat-from-chaff nature to the non-league, with quantity over quality symptomatic to working with smaller budgets.  We all have our opinions on the hits and misses, as to whether the finances will allow us the time to tell is anyone’s guess.

Chris Sutton

Chris was also forced to work with little money, although it was more than Tilson and of course Holdsworth.  The FA Cup run money was also not as forthcoming as he had expected.  Ahead of their first transfer window, the comment from the supporter director that the Barnsley League Cup gate had been lower than expected, must have gone down as well with the management as the 3104 Imps that travelled to Bolton.

Chris Sutton’s Permanent deals

Bit of a mixed bag here. Anyon was a superb capture, although Carayol did more for us in the bank than at the Bank. But the purpose of the exercise is to put the data in front of Imps and let you decide.

Clark Keltie Darlo Free 15-Jan-10
James Reid Nottm Forest Free 11-Mar-10
Mustapha Carayol Torquay Undisc 20-May-10
Drewe Broughton Rotherham Free 02-Jun-10
Gavin McCallum Hereford Undisc 21-Jun-10
Jamie Clapham Notts Co Free 07-Jul-10
Josh O’Keefe Walsall Free 15-Jul-10
Albert Jarrett Barnet Free 15-Jul-10
Joe Anyon Port Vale Free 15-Jul-10
Adam Watts Fulham Undisc 15-Jul-10
Joe Anderson Fulham Undisc 15-Jul-10
Delroy Facey Notts Co free 16-Jul-10

Chris Sutton’s Loans

Somma kept us up, Torres was superb when fit, but of the Fulham loans you have to feel we got the wrong ones on a permanent basis.  Many have moved on to better things although Ben Huchison is at Mansfield, swimming against the stream somewhat.

Michael Uwezu Fulham  
David Stephenson Norwich Plays in SPL for Hibs
Brian Gilmour Rangers Stenhousemuir
Michael Gordon MK Dons  
Eric Lichaj Aston Villa Aston Villa
Drewe Broughton Rotherham Darlo
Sergio Torres Posh Crawley
Anthony Pulis Stoke Aldershot
Delroy Facey Notts Co Hereford
Davide Somma Leeds Leeds
Steven Lennon Rangers Newport
Rene Howe Posh Torquay
Nathan Baker Aston Villa Aston Villa
Matthew Saunders Fulham Dag & Red
Adam Watts Fulham Trinity
Chris Herd Aston Villa Aston Villa
Joe Anderson Fulham  
Ben Hutchinson Celtic Mansfield

Steve Tilson

Tilson’s Budget last season was tied up with historic contracts that actually gave him less room to manoeuvre than Holdsworth.  His desire to remain based in the south, meant that he was not around as much as his salary should have commanded. Kit man Matt Carmichael took pre-season training  and in the interests of not looking back in anger, we will leave it at that.

Steve Tilson’s  Loan Deals

Grimes was a hit,without a doubt, but the loan system ensured we lost players at vital times.

Ashley Grimes Millwall Rochdale
Mitchell Nelson Bournemouth
Julian Kelly Reading Notts Co
Gavin Hoyte Arsenal Dag & Red
Stephen Hunt Notts Co Notts Co
Tom Kilbey Portsmouth Portsmouth
Adifane Noussoura  
Trevor Carson Sunderland Bury

Steve Tilson’s Permanent deals

Again we will let you be the judge as to whether finance, managerial ability, or other factors played a part in the following signings.

Luke Howell MK Dons Free 28-Jan-11
Ali Fuseini Millwall Free 31-Jan-11
Jamie Taylor Eastbourne Free 01-Jul-11
Simon Russell Cambridge U Free 01-Jul-11
Francis Laurent Northampton Free 04-Jul-11
Alan Power Rushden Free 06-Jul-11
Sam Smith Rushden Free 06-Jul-11
Kyle Perry Tamworth Free 08-Jul-11
Tony Sinclair Gillingham Free 08-Jul-11
John Nutter Gillingham Free 08-Jul-11
Josh Gowling Gillingham Free 14-Jul-11
Nicky Nicolau Dover Free 10-Au-11
Jean-F Christophe Free 25-Au-11
Jean Arnaud   Free 27-Sep-11
Patrick Kanyuka   Free 27-Jan-11

Tactical and Man-management skills

Chris Sutton, was by far the most tactically astute of the three. The problem was he did not understand that he did not have the tools at his disposal.  With regard to the trio, who bottom line have all let us down, we will leave you to draw your own conclusions on their unproductive tactical and man-management skills. All three, after all, have solicitors who would ensure we ran out of money far sooner than the truth would out.  Undeniably all three would have been able to get better players to the club if they had the money, but then every manager in every walk of life would say that.  As for the man that hired them and insists on us sharing the collective responsibility: Why has only one of the three got anything remotely close to any kind of managerial record. None of the three warmed to the fans and, more importantly, none were able to change our fortunes or give us a style of play that makes fans want to part with their money.

In the immortal words of former chairman John Reames…..

“There have been too many managers….. Allan Clarke a total disaster, real ability but impossible to deal with after a few wins…… and impossible to find after a few losses……. Keith Alexander.. great potential but felt I let him down insisting on an experienced assistant……..Sam Ellis…. Our most disappointing manager….. A great publicist but we needed a coach…… John Beck…. I was naïve enough to think I could control him….. Lincoln have always had 2 kinds of managers…. Those who have failed elsewhere and ex players who have no idea how to run a relatively large business… neither of these make the greatest sense to me.

With that last comment in mind he actually became our chairman and manager.  

Just to cheer Bob up a bit, John sacked 12 excluding himself – Colin Murphy (1978 -1985 left by mutual consent), John Pickering (July 1985 – Dec 1985), George Kerr (Dec 1985 – Mar 1987), Peter Daniel (Mar 1987 – May 1987), Colin Murphy (July 1987 – May 1990 left by mutual consent), Allan Clarke (June 1990 – Dec 1990), Steve Thompson (Dec 1990 – May 1993), Keith Alexander (May 1993 – May 1994), Sam Ellis (June 1994 – Sept 1985), Steve Wicks (Sept 1995 – Oct 1995 just 42 days), John Beck (Oct 1995 – Mar 1998) and Shane Westley (Mar 1998 – Nov 1998)

For those who wish to see the warts and all guide to Lincoln City’s managers and how well these three actually rank in what has to be perceived as an increasingly poisoned challis. Click here

Blackburn’s Loach Interest Is Just What Imps Need

Blackburn Rovers, soon to lose Paul Robinson to Fulham or Besiktas,  are set to test Ipswich Town’s resolve as the bidding hots up in the race for Watford Keeper Scott Loach. This is fantastic news for hard up Lincoln City who have a sell on for their former youth keeper.

Blackburn Rovers.svgIpswich Town.svgWatford badge  Lincoln City F.C. badge.png

Recently relegated Rovers are looking to cut the wage bill and are subject to interest  from  Betsiktas and Fulham for Paul Robinson , however the additional cashflow lifeline of £48 million in parachute payments over the coming 4 seasons, suggest that Ipswich may not be able to compete if there is a bidding war.


Loach is an Ipswich fan, but Rovers signing on fee and albeit reduced wage structure could still be too much to stomach.  Paul Jewel recently lost out to Bolton  for Leeds United keeper Andy Lonergan, as the Trotters rubberstamped £200,000 deal that Ipswich were unable to match.


The Imps make 15% on any profit from a sell on. We have already received around £60,000, with a £40k  up-front fee and appearance add-ons, so we really need the deal to head north to around £500,000 or more.

Who Is Blackburn Rovers Centre-half Matthew Pearson


David Holdsworth is eager to counter the blow, dealt by the departure of Richard Hind, by signing Blackburn Rovers reserve Mattew Pearson following a successful trial.


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Matt is a big strong 18-year-old 6 foot centre-half,  a natural leader and a great reader of the game. His composure belies his age and were it not for a  leg fracture earlier this season, that kept him sidelined until October, he would have added to that  England U18 debut – a fine 3-0 win over Poland.


Matt has been at Ewood Park since the age of 10 and progressed through the academy to earn his first pro deal in August.   Don’t be surprised to see him on the score sheet either, a one-in-5 ratio for the Rovers reserves is pretty impressive given the company he would have to keep



Season 2011 – 12
Competition Apps Goals
Reserves 2 (1 sub) 0
Lancashire Senior Cup 1 0
Academy 1 0
Season 2010 – 11
Competition Apps Goals
Reserves 17 (1 sub) 3
Lancashire Senior Cup 3 0
Academy 1 0
FA Youth Cup 2 0
Season 2009 – 10
Competition Apps Goals
Reserves 4 (1 sub) 1
Academy 13 (2 sub) 1
FA Youth Cup 1 (1 sub) 0



Gosh Josh Could Hopefully Toddle Off


Josh O’Keefe the Walsall and Blackburn Rovers misfit can now add Lincoln City to the list after David Holdsworth put him on the transfer list today.  Initially he is available for loan although the Gaffer will want the Imps third top earner off the wage bill as fast as possible to fund his January targets.


O’Keefe was signed on a 2-year deal in May 2010 and would free up enough for two players if we were to get lucky and someone were to come up with a contribution to his wages.  It would be counter-productive if we were to go into why a lad of 6′ 3″ jumps as if he is wearing concrete boots and has worse distribution than communist Russia prior to Glastnost.


On the plus side he does score some fantastic goals and at 13 stone he can ‘put himself about a bit’. but you get the feeling his pay-off could be as hefty as Fuseini’s who is currently gracing Eastleigh. How apt that he has traded the Dambusters for the Spitfires.



Imp-stats 2011/12

Games Goals Shots Yellows
9 (inc 5 sub) 1  6 (1 on) 2


Historic data for the would-be employer


Full name Joshua Adam O’Keefe
Date of birth 22 December 1988 (age 22)
Place of birth Whalley,  Lancs
Height 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)
Weight 82.63 (13 st)
Position  centre midfield
Current club Lincoln City
Number 23
Youth career
2003–2007 Blackburn Rovers Academy
Senior career (League & Cup)
Years Team Apps Goals
2007–2009 Blackburn Rovers 0 (0)
2009–2010 Walsall 13 (0)
2010– Lincoln City 48 (5)
2008 Republic of Ireland U21 1 (0)