Gary Simpson’s plans to get a striker in on loan seem to be facing the same obstacle as his plans to get Leicester City hot-shot Adi Yussuf some valuable match time, with both the FA Cup and FA trophy playing a massive part in proceedings.
Simmo has been sniffing around Leicester City, Derby Co, Bury (he already has Marlon Jackson) the South Yorkshire clubs plus some North-West big names in search of a big target man and a wide midfielder as he waits for Yussuf, Fairhurst and Wright to rediscover their undoubted talents. But timing looks to be against him in the immediate term. Loan clubs from higher Divisions in the Football League do not come into the Competition until November and December and there is also the small matter of the FA trophy that has ruled out a loan move for Yussuf in the other direction. Yussuf’s name has been mentioned on the Gainsborough grapevine but the manager has already stated that he will want him to play at least four games as well as continuing to train with the Imps on a daily basis.
With specific regard to inbound players, the loan budget has very little in it, although the prize money from the previous round of the Cup has given the manager enough for additional reinforcements. However with loans normally running for a month or two the club can ill-afford to be paying a contribution to a Football League players wages with two Trophy and Two FA Cup weekends, possibly dropping to one apiece should Lincoln be eliminated.
The postponement of the Gateshead game, thanks to their cup progression, was a case in point, although the Imps won their replay over Worcester and now entertain Plymouth, who will further add to the loan budget win lose or draw. Therefore far from being ‘caught in the headlights’ as many people are suggesting, the manager appears, perhaps he is keeping his powder dry in order to best use and indeed maximise the funds at his disposal? Simmo has good contacts in South Yorkshire and the North-West and will doubtless make a move next month when the pitches have changed and players are available ahead of the winter transfer window. Clubs tend to offer some amazing loan opportunities in December, at very reasonable wage contributions, if they can get them off the payroll for good in the January.
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.
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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.
Tony Diagne, a Leeds United and Blackburn Rovers Rovers target last season, caught the eye of the posse of scouts in the stands, with a championship class brace for the Imps against Braintree on Tuesday night. The former Nottingham Forest left-back in on loan from Macclesfield put in a match-winning performance as the ten-man Imps thumped the hosts 3-0. Gary Simpson also rates the 22 year old highly, having previously signed him from French club CM Aubervilliers in 2011, whilst at Macc. Indeed the lad almost made a move to Bury on loan in the Autumn.
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On 26 minutes a neat one-two between Turnbull and Sheridan found Diagne, who on the overlap, smashed a sweet unstoppable half-volley that arrowed into the top left from all of 30 yards. A glorious effort to settle the relegation nerves on a beech of a pitch that looked as if it had played host to a Normandy landing. But the Gallic va va voom continued as our cultured full-back served up again on 74. From a good 25-yards, just beyond the D, he thumped a fireball of a free-kick that whistled by a motionless McDonald, who could do little but look on in awe. Mmmm a brace with grace as Impdom sounded the charge to make it three with a bullet header from Bank beast Boyce.
Tony did leave the field early with what appeared to be a knock on Tuesday but with performances like this, could the Imps plans to make a move in the summer stall, or will we bag what looks to be a gem of a left-back?
|Full name||Anthony Diagne
|Date of birth||7 September 1990 (age 22)
|Place of birth||Aubergenville, France
|Playing position||Left back/Def Mid|
|Current club||Macclesfield Town|
|Appearances and goals include BSP, FAC, LC and FAT|
Even though Wrexham FC and former Bury hero Andy Morrell is odds on to get the Gigg Lane gig, former Imp Ben Futcher will definitely not be playing for FC Halifax Town in the short-term, because The Shakers manager Richie Barker has defected to Crawley Town. Peter Shirtliff and Futch will take temporary charge, but the musical chairs looks set to continue, because Ben is unlikely to be head and shoulders above his peers in this particular contest.
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|FUTCH’S STATISTICAL PROFILE|
|FULL NAME||Benjamin Paul Futcher|
|DATE OF BIRTH||4 June 1981 (age 31)|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Bradford,|
|HEIGHT||6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)|
|WEIGHT||12st 5lbs (78.54kg)|
|CAREER STATS LGE & CUP|
|2001||Stalybridge Celtic (loan)||17||(1)|
|2010–2011||Oxford United (loan)||6||(0)|
|2011||Mansfield Town (loan)||13||(1)|
|2012||AFC Telford United (loan)||3||(0)|
|2012–||Macclesfield Town (loan)||10||(0)|