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Football TV Rights? 3 Very Different things For Fans.

I get altitude sickness at Sheffield Wednesday, Nottingham Forest,  Chesterfield FC  and Mansfield Town games having chosen to cover The Conference Premier and Conference North. Like the Manchester City fans last night I have been priced out having moved up to Lincoln as a lifestyle choice. So the two £1250 a year Arsenal season tickets and the jokes of co-season ticket holders Alan Davies and Ian Stone just had to go.  Before the rant of sorts, a quick good luck to the promotion chances of  Sheffield Wednesday, Nottingham Forest and Chesterfield FC and their fabulous fans who are doing well in-spite of, as opposed to because of, all that TV cash. It could all change for the better, even the playing field so to speak, if Virgin’s complaint to Ofcom is taken seriously? Then again pigs could fly.

Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs

Most of us now know that Ofcom, among other things the broadcasting regulator, looks set to open an investigation into how the Premier League sells the TV rights to its live matches. This is at the request of Virgin Media who claim the practice is driving up consumer prices. Ofcom is taking the matter seriously and will give a decision in 8 weeks. So the fan is a consumer to champion once again as opposed to a sheep that is sheered each and every year by the people’s game.

A change in the bidding process would have huge implications on the game from the top to the bottom of the pyramid. Currently, on an annual basis, £340m goes to youth development with another £23 million directly to grass roots. The Footy Bingo grass roots article yesterday shows how Greg Dyke is spearheading what has already had a staggering nine figure impact on the game CLICK ME.

Both sides will have strong arguments, not to mention that previously mentioned grass roots programme that could well be a fantastic legacy for proactive FA Chairman Greg Dyke (£1.2 bn raised for grass roots so far). Further the Premier League do operate fair, transparent and open process when it comes to the auction of its audio-visual rights. Previous investigations by UK and European busy-bodies have found everything to be in order and compliant with UK and European competition legislation.

Virgin rightly argue that we Brits pay the highest prices in Europe to watch football on TV. The real crux of it you feel is that Virgin has to buy its own rights from BSkyB and BT. It will not be bidding in the process later in the year for a slice of the pie for 2016 onwards. Therefore they have to pay higher so we pay higher which ups the price. Perhaps, but, in a free market those of us with BT Broadband can get a good chunk of live games free as well as seeing the Conference games to boot. Were it not for my football writing I would be round at a mates watching the Arsenal games because zero hour contracts have to support a football writers income nowadays. He, a pensioner, is with Virgin and pays over a hundred a month for the privilege of receiving his broadband, telephone and TV from them.

From a purely and somewhat economic theory based point of view it is about supply and demand and, what plagues the failing capitalist economy as a whole. Fairness is the least concern of big business where patents, rights and big money will guarantee an income flow for institutions and shareholders. Aside the odd spat with toothless and underfunded regulators, this is the way directors ensure they keep their bonuses and snouts in the golden troughs. We are consumers when it suits and at best sheep, or the cahless are of no consequence, the rest of the time. The Premiership have a monopoly as a collective bargaining power, with the carve up going to BSkyB and BT who can post the anti. Virgin, ITV and even the BBC cannot justify paying the lump sums on their balance sheets.

Supply and demand is also used for the high price in going to games. Again it is greed based just adding to the ‘cream’ over here while in Germany tickets are a fraction of the UK. We also top the pile across the rest of Europe by a country mile. This superb article from the Guardian is as good a case for the consumer’s defence as I have come across CLICK ME. The three percent increase in season tickets at Arsenal (had one for 14 years) amounted to a fraction of their income. Clearly an US owner taking out a similar amount was purely coincidence of course. Aside the Football Supporters federation no one is championing Twenty is plenty are they? Granted, this is for away tickets, although it would have an impact on the home prices in corresponding areas.

Andy Savage, who runs the website MCFCForum.com, got it spot on in his twitter spat with Rio Ferdinand over the price disgrace and the empty seats at City’s European game against Roma last night.

“I took Rio Ferdinand to task on Twitter. He was taking the mickey out of the empty seats at the Etihad last night. He is living in his own bubble there. Some people are living hand to mouth and don’t know where the next penny is coming from, and he’s criticising them for not filling the stadium when the tickets are £35-plus.

“He was an absolute disgrace on Twitter, as was Scholes on ITV. They are multi-millionaires. They don’t give the man on the street a second thought, how much it is costing people. The cost of living is going up, so many people are out of work. Football is not everyone’s priority, like it used to be. People just can’t afford, over the course of the month, to pay for tickets three, four or five times.

“I took Ferdinand to task, and not because he is an ex-United player. He’s got an autobiography coming out. I’m sure he’s not giving that away. I’m sure he’s not joined QPR for the love it. He’ll be getting a substantial salary. Perhaps it will hit home next year if QPR have to put their prices up and they won’t be able to fill their stadium. It really wound me up last night.”

So is there any end to the golden rails on the inevitably downward staircase of greed? Not from a regulator point of view you feel although the Lords of the manor will inevitably shoot themselves in the foot one day (perhaps the inevitable interest rate rises will not help either). The last round increased the overall receipts of the Premier League to £5.5 Bn if we include the international carve up or £3Bn domestic (up from £3.3BN for all in the last carve up) suggesting the rights have yet to plateau. When the music stops the transfer and wage inflation will catch up with them all. Until then it is open season with perhaps next summer seeing £1 billion spent in the window. For anything or anyone to actually get in the way of big business is a flight of fantasy. Can anyone picture a herd of flying pigs?

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Ex-Leeds winger joins the Spireites as ex-Imp stays at Stags

Ex-Leeds United winger Gboly Ariyibi, has joined Chesterfield FC  after they failed to land Mansfield Town and ex-Lincoln City winger Sam Clucas.  Ariyibi has been on trial with the Spireites and has an impressive pedigree, having graduated through the Southampton youth system before joining Leeds last season, making one appearance against of all clubs, Nottingham Forest.

Thanks for reading STMI

 

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So Mansfield Town continue to hold onto the services of the flying winger who never got the breaks at the Imps. His dream move from Debenham’s shelf stacker to a full-time contract at his home town club yielded just the one start against Darlington, the last game of Peter Jackson’s tenure.

Sam went on star at Hereford before going from strength to strength at the Stags (he opted for them over Crewe because he could return to his Lincoln roots).  This time last year he was the subject of interest from Nottingham Forest, but injury stopped a second improved bid from Forest, currently, top of the Championship table.

The Forest bid had been rumoured to be excess of £500,000, even Chesterfield cannot afford that, particularly as a central striker appears to be also on the cards over the next few days. The Spireites also had a bid knocked back  but will not follow up with a second after signing Ex-Leeds United winger Gboly Ariyibi, today.

 

 

Destiny’s Child Connor Robinson: The Chesterfield Cup King!

When Chesterfield FC were slain 3-0 in the Youth Cup final in April 2012 Connor was the belle on the ball.  Now after a 23 minute cameo against Worcester City on Saturday, oh so many Imps are desperate to see one of our own live our dreams on the hallowed Sincil Bank turf against Worcester City tonight.

Rose tinted, an optimistic dreamer

Lincoln City F.C. badge.png v Worcester City FC logo.png

FA Cup 4th Q replay KO 7.45, Tues 28th October 2013
Adults £12, Cons £8, U18’s £5

Oh how We Imps love seeing one of our own, rise through the ranks just as Lee Frecklington did when made his debut in the Football League Trophy in 2003 against Telford.   Fast forward a decade and and another of our own looks poised for a pivotal role. Connor Robinson, for it is he, is our latest little ray of sunshine and, after that disappointing  youth defeat in the Cup to Boston, he alone now appears to be proof that the Youth set-up at Lincoln can indeed continue to deliver.

Let us hope he can step up and be strong enough to show that beauty can tame the beasts of the Skrill Premier each and every week. Young Connor has not had it easy since starring in that Imps 3-0 Youth Cup Final win over Chesterfield at the B2Net Stadium back in 2012. He did make his debut as a sub against Hayes in the BSP in 2011/12 and was given a two year first pro contract as a reward for those cup heroics and super impact performances. But like all  5 of Grants prodigal sons from the fountain of youth who were given a heraldic fanfare in the Summer of 2012, he was discarded by Holdsworth, fearful of failure in a bustling basement battle.

In 2012/13 Connor’s cameos were still a treat to behold with 4 goals in 5 starts and just 682 minutes of first team football. A March loan to Worksop for a month, under the stewardship of Simon Clark, only earned him two sub appearances in a season that could have been so much more under a different manager and different circumstances. Gary Simpson appears to be the perfect manager to heal last years memories and see Connor start to realise a potential that could see him reborn. Imp born and bred, he feels the passion and may well be a perfect replacement for Wright tonight as the Imps chase the latest cup dream. It would be a brave decision on the manager’s part but surely Connor deserves his chance to succeed or fail in his home stadium backed by fellow Imps who so want him to succeed.

Thus far his impact on games has been as limited as it has been explosive, but his time is about to come, one feels, upon the Sincil stage. One can understand the desire to protect him during the tough times but Connor’s heart at least is ready and chomping at the bit to deliver for his beloved Imps.  Lincoln born, Lincoln Bred, Connor’s an Imp until he’s dead.

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Connor’s  Imp stats 2012/13
No 39 Comp Starts Sub Goals Assists Shots Fouls Fouled Mins YC RC
Winger BSP 5 14 4 1 11 9 12 682 9 0

 

Connor’s  Imp stats 2011/12
No 36 Comp Starts Sub Goals Assists Shots Fouls Fouled Mins YC RC
Winger BSP 0 1 0 0 2 0 0 29 0 0

 Connor’s STMI Biopic

Full Name Connor William Robinson
Date of Birth 11th Oct 1994 Age 19
Place of Birth Lincoln
Height 5 ft 11 in
Weight 11 st 8lb
Youth Career
2005-2008 Lincoln City
Current gig-in-the-game
Club Lincoln City
Contract 1 year left (30/6/14)
Squad No 16
Pos RW / Fox-in-the-box
Year Club Aps Gls
2012- Lincoln City 21 4
2013 (Mar) Loan – Worksop 2 0

Wright Is Right

The Chesterfield FC return of summer Mansfield Town signing and former Tamworth FC and Kidderminster Harriers striker Nick Wright was welcome news this week. Poor whippet Nick has been shackled by a hamstring injury since Macclesfield but Barnet FC on Saturday is just the game for the lightning rod to strike.

Rose Tinted says its time to get your glasses on

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Nick never really got a look in against the Stags, as Cox had Green as the undeniable first choice option, he was perhaps the most complete centre-forward at this level.  Yet Nick started well at the Imps serving up a few in the 7-1 win over Lincoln United before grabbing a hat-trick against money club Harrogate Town.

A hamstring pull in only the second game of the season forced him off 35 minutes into the Macclesfield game, but his pace and movement against the Spireites for 45 minutes was fantastic.  The Imps had their moments on the counter against League 2’s top side with Wright a constant threat. If we had got the benefit of the doubt in one of the two penalty shouts the result could have been very different.

The Barnet game could be a grudge encounter with history suggesting a battle, but also the potential for goals amidst the thrills and spills.  Lincoln went up from the Conference at the first time of asking under Murphy despite a 0-6 defeat at their place, winning the return in a fiery encounter by the odd goal. One of their lads also saw red for punching out one of ours in a hot and spicy date on and off the pitch at Sincil Bank.  Barnet perhaps got revenge of sorts when our defeat at home to Aldershot saved them as we went down.

Nick is tailor made for this one, up against the huge oaks of Acheampong and Stephens.  He has the height although that is not his real strength, but, give him a ball to run onto and he can peel off the shoulder and unload with aplomb.  He and Yussuff both have the potential to get into the double digits this season, but Nick has the ability to go far in the game, in the right team.

Come on Nick we want to be chanting Nicky Wright! Wright! Wright! Saturday night.

Mansfield 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 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
STMI BIOPIC
FULL NAME Nicholas Wright
DATE OF BIRTH 25 November 1987 (age 25)
PLACE OF BIRTH Birmingham, England
HEIGHT/WEIGHT 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 11st 9 (75 kg)
PLAYING POSITION Striker / winger
CLUB
CURRENT CLUB Free agent
NUMBER n/a
YOUTH CAREER
2001-2005 Birmingham City
SENIOR STATS
YEARS Team Apps
(Gls)
2005–2007 Birmingham City 0 (0)
2006 Tamworth (loan) 3 (0)
2006 Bristol City (loan) 5 (0)
2006 Northampton Town (loan) 4 (0)
2007 Ashford Town (loan)
2007 Halesowen Town (loan)
2007–2010 Tamworth 79 (27)
2010–2012 Kidderminster Harriers 82 (23)
2012– Mansfield Town 17 (1)
NATIONAL TEAM
2008– England C 1 (0)

Newcastle sold Imps Tony Lormor For £25,000

Tony Lormer was signed from Newcastle UTD , then moved on to Chesterfield FC, Preston North End, Notts County, Mansfield  Town, Hartlepool United and Shrewsbury Town  scoring 120 goals for in 415 appearances and commanding £200,000 in fees.

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Tony was signed by Willy McFaul and made his debut as an 18 year old under him in 1988 against Spurs. Tony played 8 times, scoring three under 3 different managers on Tyneside (Colin Suggett and Jim Smith being the others) before Colin Murphy brought the 19 year-old to Lincoln in January 1990 for £25,000. Tony scored against the Dragons on his debut and finished the season with 8 goals, just one off Gordon Hobson (who had signed the year before from Southampton for £60,000).  Tony would play under 4 different managers at City (Murph, Clarke, Thommo and Big Keith first time around), but still managed to be the top scorer in his first and second full seasons until  a cruciate ligament (knee) injury struck and kept him out for 18 months.  He got just 9 more games for us, as well as a loan at Halifax (9 aps 1 goal) before he was released.

Tony was arguably not the same player but he never really got a look in and was allowed to go to Peterborough on a free  where he spent a season in the reserves building up his fitness. He was forever grateful to Posh for that and the fact that they never stood in his way when Chesterfield came in for him.  He shone in Division 3 forming a prolific partnership with Phil Robinson as the Spireites went 21 unbeaten (it would have been 22 but he missed a penalty) and clinched promotion to Division Two via the play-offs. Injuries plagued him the following season and he found himself being played wide or in midfield, leading to a transfer request.   In November 1997, Tony joined Preston North End in a £130,000 make-weight with David Reeves coming the other way in the part-exchange deal.

It did not work out at Preston after a scoring start against Luton (plus an assist) as he added just  two more goals came from his next 16 outings.  A loan at Notts County saw no goals in seven and he was sold to Mansfield Town in June 1998 close season for £15,000. The two seasons at the Stags yielded 24 goals, which alerted  Hartlepool United  who offered £30,000 for his services. The knee injury flared up keeping him to just 10 goals from 28 starts and 22 appearances from the bench.  Tony did get a month on loan at the Shrews netting two and setting up 3 in 7 games, but alas he was not allowed to stay at a side that started to look like promotion rivals.  Tony manged 5 games for Telford before he finally gave in to injury.

STMI Biopic
Full name Anthony Lormor
Date of birth 29 October 1970 (age 42)
Place of birth Ashington, England
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Playing position Forward
Youth career
Wallsend Boys Club
Newcastle United
Senior Stats (Lge & Cups)
Years Team Apps
(Gls)
1987–1990 Newcastle United 8 (3)
1988–1989 Norwich City (loan) 0 (0)
1990–1994 Lincoln City 112 (35)
1994 Halifax Town (loan) 7 (1)
1994 Peterborough United 8 (0)
1994–1997 Chesterfield 135 (47)
1997–1998 Preston North End 20 (3)
1998 Notts County (loan) 7 (0)
1998–2000 Mansfield Town 84 (24)
2000–2002 Hartlepool United 55 (9)
2002 Shrewsbury Town (loan) 7 (2)
2002–2003 Telford United 4 (0)
2003–2005 Sutton Town  N/a  (?)
2005–2006 Heanor Town  N/a  (?)

Boyce Awaits Bishops Move

Andrew Boyce, a former Doncaster Rovers youth, interested Scunthorpe UnitedMansfield Town & Chesterfield FC until the Imps slapped a £25,000 price tag on him this summer and he is certainly showing his credentials.  Boycie has been brilliant so far this season with a man of the match performance at Cambridge.  He and Brown have formed a super central defensive partnership allowing Foster to act as a defensive midfielder along with Nolan to both shield the back four and allow the forward four to counter.

Thank-you for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs

 

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Once dubbed Bank Beast Boyce, he has the genes of Goliath, Andy is showing his beautiful side. But Boyce will face Andy Bishop today, still in his prime and one of the lower two divisions of the  Football League’s most consistent and complete predators.  You have to fancy the youngsters chances and, the way he dealt with Andy Cunnington (last seasons top scorers in the BSP) on Saturday, suggests he is beginning to realise his huge potential this season.

Boyce merited a nine out of ten, against Cunnington to boot, to go with two 8’s and a 7 from his opening four games. It is not just consistent defending but his brave none-shall-pass attitude that is starting to catch the eye.

Well done Andy….. Bishops move then?

No NAME St Sub Mins G On M Ass F’s F’ed YC RC
5 Boyce 4 0 360 0 0 1 0 9 3 1 0

 

Name                 Tot Ave
Boyce 8 7 8 9 32 8

Dan Gray – The Skrill Stretch Armstrong!

Former Chesterfield FC full-back and defensive midfielder Dan Gray has been terrific and instrumental in the Imps two clean sheets, 1 goal conceded and 7 points from the opening – unbeaten – 3 games.  Those long throws are like something out of a cartoon and his desire to get up and down faster than a bride’s nightie, continue to endear him to Lincoln City fans. If the lad had the pace – oh but he can dribble and deliver – he would be playing in the championship by now. But then beauty and beast are in the eye of the beholder in the League the telly money almost forgot.

 

Thanks for Reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs

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Dan is an STMI favourite, for his determination and bloody mindedness as much as anything else, but he certainly has some quality to go with his never say die attitude. Those throws are unreal, his arms have the elasticity of stretch Armstrong or some clockwork toy that is but one twist from being over-wound. Talking of which – its just the one booking too, so far this season and this, for a man who personifies the none-shall-pass motto.  Firm but fair he puts the ‘R’ into the SkRill Premier week in week out.  His new 1 year deal at Lincoln City – Simmo has now signed him for Macclesfield and The Imps –  illustrates the faith the two have in each others respective abilities.  This is fantastic news as Dan  will be vital to our play-off push next season.

Dan was considered something of a teenage prodigy and, at just 18, became a regular in the Chesterfield side making 24 starts in his first season and 19 the following term.  The club was going places with an ambitious chairman backing John Sheridan to the hilt. He struggled to get into the team as the Spireites went up as League 2 Champions, earning a promotion to befit a well appointed new stadium.   Simmo took him on loan to Macc in 2011, where Dan repaid the faith, scoring on his début  before making 23 appearances over two spells.

Then, as last season, he was shackled in a now typecast right-back role, given a defensive midfield berth is his best and most natural position. His cross for Taylor’s equaliser against Tamworth, after his own goal put us one down, epitomises Dan.  He has been keen to overlap, using technique rather than pace to outwit his opponent. He will be skinned occasionally for this reason, but his timing in the tackle is good, as just 21 recorded fouls at a cost of 3 yellows and a red illustrates.

Dan also has a fantastic long throw that will be a key weapon for Simmo’s six-foot soldiers to exploit again next season.  This led to Vadaine’s second goal against Hyde, to leave Dan on 6 assists for the season, a record most full-backs would be proud of.  For one with such a good right-foot, it is a shame he does not shoot more (8 last term) with his only goal, a header, giving us a 7th minute lead on the way to a four goal first-half rout of Dartford.

Dan certainly has a composure well beyond his 23 years, suggesting this will be the season that finally proves John Sheridan wrong. Managers, formations and the fates play such a  big part in the making and breaking of a footballers career. But Simmo is just the manager to develop and fully utilise a talented and versatile lads talents.

This is a big attraction for a manager who tends to shy away from the rigidity of 4-4-2, as well as our limited resources going into a vital but optimistic campaign.  Come on Dan put pen to paper, as an all round package you will serve us reliably at BSP level knowing you have a manager who will improve you and not stand in your way when opportunity knocks.

Dan’s 2013/14

No NAME St Sub Mins G On M Ass F’s F’ed YC RC
15 Gray 3 0 270 0 0 1 0 3 1 1 0

Dan’s 2012/13

No NAME St Sub Mins G On M Ass F’s F’ed YC RC
15 Gray 35 4 3092 1 3 5 6 21 19 3 1

Historic stuff

STMI BIOPIC
FULL NAME Daniel Adam Gray
DATE OF BIRTH 23 November 1989 (age 23)
PLACE OF BIRTH Mansfield
HEIGHT/WEIGHT 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in) 12 st (76kg)
PLAYING POSITION Right/centre back central Midfield
SENIOR STATS (LGE & CUP)
YEARS Team Apps (Gls)
2008–2012 Chesterfield 54 (0)
2008 Alfreton Town (loan) n/a (?)
2011 Macclesfield Town (loan X 2) 23 (1)
2011 – date Lincoln City 42 (0)

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Could Hamza Bencherif Rock The City Kasbah At Last?

While Chesterfield FC contemplate signing former Nottingham Forest & Notts County man-mountain of thrills, spills & skill’s Hamza Bencherif, the Imp that got away – twice – the bean-counters fear they are £130,000 over budget after signing winger Gary Roberts from Swindon Town and defender Ian Evatt from Blackpool.  Could Simmo – his business all done before the coming of St Luke  remember – yet have the time and energy for one last miracle?

Thank you for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs

Nottingham Forest logo.svg Macclesfield Town FC.svg Lincoln City F.C. badge.pngNotts County Logo.png

The Spireites are determined to get back into League 1 this season and have assembled a side of serious contenders (they beat us 3-1 behind closed doors) for the season ahead. Hamza who had hoped to be plying his trade in the MLS until the deal fell through after leaving Notts County, has been impressing but budget’s are budgets even at the ambitious Spireites it would seem.  Chances are they will find the cash, but if not, could Gary Simpson pull another rabbit out of the hat? Far fetched perhaps but Foster? Tomlinson? Rowe? Nolan? Wright? First let us make some semblance of the riddle over the matter of Hamza getting away twice.

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Unable to get into Colin Calderwood’s Nottingham Forest side, the manager kindly agreed to a months to get the Algerian under 20 international some much needed match practice. He  would work under Schofield and Deeham for just 13 days before they started the Imps annual October manager merry-go-round trend.  Hamza started, the day he joined, on Oct 2nd v Bury, then scored in the 2-4 defeat at home to, of all foes, Chesterfield.  He was brave, he was popular, but a lack of pace and youthful nativity exposed him at the centre of an Imps defence that was ransacked more regularly than Rome.

Hamza, played twelve inspiring games before going back to Forest but despite no first team opportunities he was not allowed back in the January, with the cash-strapped Imps unable to make a bid.  We wound down the days until his contract expired at the end of the season, but again Jacko made no move and he elected to join Keith and Simmo at Macclesfield, during a summer of woe.

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Despite breaking his leg in the first season at Macc, Hamza, part of the French Connection, was the midfield rock, scoring 16 in 60 appearances as the club battled back from the death of first Keith and then Butch. The all-but-butt-naked Silkmen flirted with the play-offs until the previous owners sold everything that was not nailed to the floor.  Then of course post Xmas scurvy overcame the crew with more on the sick than Merseyside, to end the Simpson tenure. To top it Simmo was allowed to get a Scouser, of the Everton persuasion, in on loan and he returned home twenty minutes into a goal scoring debut – you’ve guessed it injured.

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Like most things that have been and gone at Lincoln, they seem to end up at Notts County. Martin Allen (alerted by Schofield and perhaps Matt, son of KA) made Hamza an offer that Macclesfield could not match in June 2011 and he signed a two-year deal starting 17 times with 8 substitute appearances, scoring against Bournemouth and Rochdale.  Some poetic justice there of sorts in a 1-0 win.  He was popular with the fans, his endurance endears as much as his bravery in truth.

Incoming Keith Curle, who signed 12 players in the Summer of 2012, also rated him highly, although Hamza would be little more than a bench warmer this season.  He would only play 11 times, all starts and thanks to injuries, in a promotion chase that fizzled, costing Curle his job in March. Chris Kimonya gave him 1 minute of action away at Doncaster before deciding to release him this summer although he can undoubedly do a job at League 1. Pace is his enemy at the back but in the middle he is a midfield matador, and irresistable precence and an immovable force.

As Hamza was in and out more frequently than wedding tackle, he  knew the Meadow Lane gig was up last March within a fortnight of Curle moving on. Simmo was fighting fires at Lincoln, not to mention time with the loan window fast approaching.  He twisted the boards arm for some money for loans and, with the Queen blinking on the Bank notes, he moved for an ambition trio. Nat Brown and Tony Diagne came, but alas Hamza, who shares the same agent as the other two, had to turn the deal down at the last minute. At the time an MLS club looked set to take him, but then the deal cooled, leaving him to sit out the final few week of the season at County due to the closure of the loan window.

STMI BIOPIC
FULL NAME Hamza Bencherif
DATE OF BIRTH February 9, 1988 (age 25)
PLACE OF BIRTH Paris,
HEIGHT/WEIGHT 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in) / All musclet
PLAYING POSITION Midfielder
YOUTH CAREER
1999-2004 EA Guingamp
2004-2006 Nottingham Forest
SENIOR CAREER LGE & CUP
YEARS Team Apps (Gls)
2006–2009 Nottingham Forest 0 (0)
2007 Lincoln City (loan) 12 (1)
2009–2011 Macclesfield Town 68 (16)
2011–2013 Notts County 37 (2)
NATIONAL TEAM
2006–2007 Algeria U20 7 (1)

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Kovacs Set For Home

Ex Chesterfield FC,  Hereford Utd, Luton Town and former Beast of the Bank centre-back Janos Kovacs has  turned down a deal (believed to be Inverness Caledonian Thistle) in Scotland for a return to his homeland with current Hungarian Champions Gyori ETO FC.  He is a one of the games heroes – chisled from a diamond in the rough.

Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs

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Janos was an absolute legend at the Spireites and the Imps, indeed the Chesterfield fans even applauded his towering header that won us a derby game following his transfer to us.  He just had to play for Hereford, the veritable Bull in a china shop personified.  Janos then deservedly made the Conference team of the year 2011/12 during his Hatters days. You could go on all day about his heroic deeds, more than sometimes in the absence of ability. But he endeared fans and his song hereabouts was mark of the popularity and stature of the man who was strong, brave and brutal in either box, in the words of that song……….

His name is Janos,

Janos Kovacs,

He is mental he is mad

He is the finest

Central defender

The ____ have ever had.

STMI Biopic
Full name János Kovács
Date of birth 11 September 1985 (age 27)
Place of birth Budapest, Hungary
Height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Playing position Defender
Youth career
1999–2003 MTK
Senior  Stats
Years Team Apps
(Gls)
2003–2005 MTK 1 (0)
2004–2005 Bodajk (loan) ? (?)
2005–2008 Chesterfield 62 (2)
2007 York City (loan) 8 (1)
2008–2010 Lincoln City 66 (4)
2010 Luton Town 17 (1)
2010–2012 Hereford United 29 (2)
2011–2012 Luton Town (loan) 17 (2)
2012–2013 Luton Town 55 (5)

5 Andrew Boyce

We had to sweat on former Doncaster Rovers defender Boycey as he played the field with Scunthorpe UnitedMansfield Town and Chesterfield FC said to be interested. Whether it was the alleged £50,000 transfer fee or agent talk, we were pleased to see him put pen to paper on a new two year deal.

thank you for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs

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The sticking point was the duration of the new deal. In a nutshell Lincoln wanted a two year deal so that the club can at least try to get a return on their investment. That outlay is perceived two-fold; in the forms of a £12,500 to Gainsborough, as well as the coaching staff believing they can improve a young but still raw player further. With Andrew 24 this November,  a one year deal the player would have meant that he could walk for free.

And what a talent we would lose. Brave, strong, with a none-shall-pass attitude that provides a presence in either box.  Boyce is the beast of the Bank personified but he has calmed since those Gainsborough days when he would not have got into a holy trinity as opposed to the footballing version. Andrew certainly grew alongside Nat Brown last season and will continue to improve under Simmo and Grant Brown’s guidance.  He will certainly do well for a settled season, after the Holdsworth era and seeing Kings Lynn implode after his Doncaster rejection.

Handy Andy sometimes stood alone last season as our central midfield quartet were regularly routed only to see him nip countless opportunities for with a last ditch challenge. He also notched four goals and created two for others as his mellowing but still charming approach to collateral damage scattered the chickens in the opposing box.

STMI christened Boycie the Beast of The Bank when he arrived. But he is now more than that. Already a hero, his never say die attitude will blossom next term, indeed, give it another half season, or so,to round off those rough edges and Boyce may well be plying his trade in League 1 sooner rather than later.

STMI Biopic

Sq No NAME Starts Sub Mins Goals Shots Assists Fouls Fouled YC RC
5 Andrew Boyce 45 0 3999 4 44 2 49 37 10 0
Boyce’s Backissues  
Date of Birth 05/11/1989 (age 23)
Height 6′ 3″
Weight 12st 9lbs
Youth career Doncaster Rovers
Former Clubs Kings Lynn Gainsborough