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STMI Vanarama Conference Premier Wrap, Results, Scorers & Crowds

Beware Torquay United and Woking FC as Barnet FC are held and FC Halifax falter at Forest Green Rovers. Wrexham FC, Gateshead FC Macclesfield Town and Braintree Town win  to close in on the play-off spots. Bristol Rovers beat the Imps in another outstanding 5-goal thriller at Sincil Bank.  Grab your well earned beverage fellow footy fans its time for the People’s Premiership Sunday wrap and its spicier than fajitas with a ghost pepper and Marmite.

Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs

 

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Well, well, well, Telford hold Barnet FC in the allegedly bottom V top mismatch of the week.  The Bees  do not normally concede on the road until a Gray penalty just before half time, thanks to a ball to the hand of Weston broke that perfect run. Cook hit home on 69 before busy Bee Johnson weaved then stung at close range to put Barnet back in charge. Then four minutes into injury time Phenix, minus the ‘O’ had a go, rising from the AFC ashes to the joy of most of the 1492.  Wasn’t that the year Columbus sailed the ocean blue? Must be a sign – although black and blue would be more apt as Telford earned six yellow cards in the ‘lively affair’. Telford stay bottom while Barnet stay a point ahead of The Cards.

Vanarama Conference logo.pngWoking, as expected, beat Chester, true to script as Giuseppe Sole got the only goal, slotting home after Morgan’s supplied the lemon dash.  Forest Green took down Halifax. Norwood’s header broke the deadlock on 20 with Parkin calmly slotting home nine minutes later.  Gateshead clearly need that new and, seventh striker, although don’t count Danny Wright out of the reckoning, for it was his noggin that nodded home to put The Heed fourth and condemn Dartford to fourth bottom.

Vanarama Conference logo.pngTorquay continue to get great results at their rivals. Six points thus far in Lincolnshire as well as a host of scalps home and away for the Gulls.  They were home flying and two nil up at Grimsby by half-time ,thanks to a close point blank hay-maker from Richards (14) and a solo dribble and drilled low drive from Young.  Hurst had every man on deck, to turn the side so when Lewis went off injured the marooned Mariners went down to ten. Four wins on the spin for Torquay – we have been warning fellow Conference footy folk.

Vanarama Conference logo.pngMacclesfield and Wrexham keep up the pressure on the play-off pack .  Macc won at Dover  thanks to Holroyd’s rare close range strike (his first since opening day).  It was not quite a storming of the white cliffs with the hosts wasting a chalk board full of chances (13 shots to 3)before keeper Taylor spilled Deverdics drive, allowing on-hand Holrod to sweep up the pieces on 77.

Vanarama Conference logo.pngThe Dragons, under Kevin Wilkin have developed a spine to match the footballing heritage that has seen them entertain but not quite team the People’s Premiership .  Wrexham did the old 1-0 down 2-1 up routine against a determined Welling side who went ahead when Beautyman pounced after Ashton had dilly-dallied and been dispossessed by Tobi Sho-Silva, to supply some silver lining. Apologies for paraphrasing an Owls anthem there.  A naught one from Nouble reduced United to 10 and the poetic passers of the Principality made the advantage count.  That man Moult finished off a five man to sweetly sweep York’s cross home.  Clarke’s winner went like a bullet to cannon in off Fyfield for a much needed second home success of the season.

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Results, Crowds & scorers

Crowd Home . Away
1492 AFC Telford Utd 2 2 Barnet
. T Gray 37 , M Phenix 90+4 , . . L Cook 68 , E Johnson 80 ,
945 Altrincham 3 3 Eastleigh
. Damien Reeves 11 , A Griffin35 , Damien Reeves 65 , . . Reid 16 , McAllister 43 ,Reason 80 ,
751 Braintree Town 2 0 Kidderminster Harriers
. J Mulley 16 , Davis 48 , . . .
754 Dover Athletic 0 1 Macclesfield Town
. . . Holroyd 77 ,
1005 Forest Green Rovers 2 0 FC Halifax Town
. James Norwood 20 , J Parkin29 , . . .
1336 Gateshead FC 1 0 Dartford
. D Wright 53 , . . .
3300 Grimsby Town 0 2 Torquay United
. . . . Richards 14 , Young 37 ,
2993 Lincoln City FC 2 3 Bristol Rovers
. Newton 37 pen , Burrow 45 , . . Sinclair 13 , D Leadbitter 22 ,Harrison 90 ,
803 Nuneaton Town 1 1 Aldershot Town
. Brown 19 , . . Hatton 67 ,
832 Southport 0 2 Alfreton Town
. . . . J Ironside 2 , Hawley 9 ,
1629 Woking 1 0 Chester FC
. Sole 52 , . . .
2857 Wrexham 2 1 Welling United
. L Moult 84 , Clarke 86 , . . Beautyman 33 ,
.

 

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The Table

P W D L F A +/- Pts
1 Barnet 9 7 1 1 23 5 +18 22
2 Woking 9 6 3 0 18 6 +12 21
3 FC Halifax Town 9 6 1 2 16 8 +8 19
4 Gateshead 9 6 1 2 18 13 +5 19
5 Torquay United 9 5 3 1 16 5 +11 18
6 Macclesfield Town 9 4 4 1 10 6 +4 16
7 Wrexham 9 5 1 3 12 12 0 16
8 Braintree Town 9 5 0 4 15 9 +6 15
9 Eastleigh 9 4 3 2 17 13 +4 15
10 Forest Green Rovers 9 4 3 2 10 6 +4 15
11 Kidderminster Harriers 9 4 3 2 9 6 +3 15
12 Bristol Rovers 9 4 2 3 9 10 -1 14
13 Lincoln City 9 4 1 4 16 18 -2 13
14 Grimsby Town 9 3 3 3 19 9 +10 12
15 Aldershot Town 9 3 3 3 10 8 +2 12
16 Altrincham 9 2 2 5 12 16 -4 8
17 Southport 9 2 2 5 8 14 -6 8
18 Nuneaton Town 9 2 2 5 4 14 -10 8
19 Chester 9 2 1 6 8 18 -10 7
20 Dover Athletic 9 2 1 6 8 18 -10 7
21 Dartford 9 1 3 5 7 14 -7 6
22 Welling United 9 1 3 5 7 17 -10 6
23 Alfreton Town 9 1 1 7 7 23 -16 4
24 AFC Telford United 9 0 3 6 11 22 -11 3

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Doncaster Young Gun’s Dream Double Début For Imps.

The Imps capture of former Doncaster Rovers striker Waide Fairhurst is remarkable given the competition we faced for the lad.  Rovers loaned him to Shrewsbury Town, Southend United & Hereford United.  Donny then released him and he opted to join Simmo at Macclesfield Town.  Waide turned down a bigger offer in the summer to rejoin his old manager at Lincoln and marked his debut with a winning double in a match winning display against big spending Forest Green Rovers.

Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs

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Having gone 1-0 down to a cross-cum-shot from Barry, on 19 minutes, Waide pounced on a cross from Newton to unnerve Stokes, cut inside him, them switched feet to slam home with his left. The goal machine was up and running just 25 minutes into his Sincil Bank bow,  Fairhurst was also denied by a brilliant save and fired wide on two occasions before he brought the house down.

With 5 minutes on the clock Newton  fed the goal machine again, Waide took a touch before hammering a hay-maker into the top corner to have the ground on its feet.  The 2-1 win lifts the Imps to 4th, level on points with next opponents Cambridge who top the Skrill Premier thanks to a superior goal difference of 3. The way Fairhurst is wading in their lead may not last for long.

A prolific youth striker for Doncaster Rovers, Waide scored two goals in two starts after signing his first pro deal. It was hard for the youngster to break into the Rovers first 11 during his three year deal, which showed faith in itself. His debut came against Coventry, with Doncaster enjoying a phase in the Championship following a meteoric rise, playing it has to be said, some princely passing football. They destroyed us in a cup game one Tuesday night.  Wade layed on an assist against Palace, then scored against WBA and Ipswich.

With chances few and far between in the Championship, Waide went on loan to Shrewsbury, in October 2009, grabbing 4 goals in 10 appearances. Alas he was forced to cut the loan short and returned to Rovers in the  December thanks to injury.  After 6 weeks out with a broken toes he got two goalless opportunities against WBA and Ipswich. The following season Southend took him for a month before Hereford stepped in during Feb 2010. He bagged a brace on his debut against Cheltenham, scored two games later in the 1-1 draw with Northampton, before failing to find the net in a further dozen games in a struggling side.

Simmo signed him for Macc and it is fair to say he began to blossom after Gary left. Last season Waide hit 13 goals in 43 games for the Silkmen, including braces against Woking and Braintree. He is not the tallest, but he has a competitive streak about him. He has a good touch and the look of a young Jamie Taylor about him. His first touch is championship level and his predatory instincts first class. He got two thirds of 79 shots on target last season, adding 3 assists to his decent 13 goal tally.

Well played Waide – 9 out of 10 for a match-winning performance. 

Imp Stats 2013/14

No NAME St Sub Mins G On M Ass F’s F’ed YC RC
3 Fairhurst 1 0 90 2 3 2 0 1 0 0 0

Macclesfield Stats 2012/13

No NAME St Sub Mins G On M Ass F’s F’ed YC RC
3 Fairhurst 1 0 90 2 3 2 0 1 0 0 0

Tale of the Tape

STMI BIOPIC
FULL NAME Waide Simon Fairhurst
DATE OF BIRTH 7 May 1989 (age 24)
PLACE OF BIRTH Sheffield, England
HEIGHT 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in) 11 st (69.84kg)
PLAYING POSITION Striker
CONTRACT: ONE YEAR (PLUS OPTION)
CURRENT CLUB Lincoln City
SENIOR CAREER
YEARS Team Apps
(Gls)
2008–2011 Doncaster Rovers 10 (2)
2009 Solihull Moors (loan) 5 (2)
2009–2010 Shrewsbury Town (loan) 10 (4)
2010 Southend United (loan) 3 (0)
2011 Hereford United (loan) 16 (3)
2011–2013 Macclesfield Town 61 (13)
2013– Lincoln City 1 (2)

Lincoln Striker Bid Hots Up

Former Rotherham UnitedMacclesfield Town and want away Alfreton Town striker Ben Tomlinson still looks to be on his way to Lincoln City according to sources. One bid had been refused, last month but it would appear the player wants to work with Simmo again, suggesting a compromise deal could be in the offing. The lad is under contract so this cannot go to tribunal.  The Lincoln board have also upped Simmo’s budget and the understanding is that he has funds spare.

thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs.

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The goal machine scored for fun in his Rotherham youth days before moving to Worksop where he rammed in 17 goals for starters and then 29 goals in his final season. Simmo even paid a fee to Worksop when he signed him for Macc, as did an ambitious Alfreton who swooped as The Silkmen were relegated.  He did not disappoint.

He formed a great partnership with Paul Clayton last year with 14 goals from 33 starts and 13 opportunities from the bench  But The Reds have now gone part-time to save funds. The chance to join Lincoln, resurgent and perceived challengers, as well as working with his ex-manager looks a tempting proposition for the lad if what went off on twitter earlier today is anything to go by. We will leave you to make your minds up on what is left on there –https://twitter.com/buddytomo

STMI had no desire to jeopardise any deal when told by an agent last month and would therefore not speculate as to the name of the player when we ran our two strikers story last month. Wright has already arrived, now it looks just a question of time before Tomlinson follows.

STMI Biopic
Full name Ben Tomlinson
Date of birth 31 October 1989 (age 23)
Place of birth Dinnington,
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Playing position Forward
Youth Career: Rotherham
Current club Alfreton Town
Number 21
Senior stats
Years Team Apps
(Gls)
2008–2011 Worksop Town 64 (46)
2011–2012 Macclesfield Town 27 (6)
2012– Alfreton Town 46 (14)

Rooney Linked With Lincoln

John Rooney the former Barnsley FC , New York Red Bulls, Orlando City and Macclesfield Town star has been in discussion with Lincoln City with regard to kick-starting his following his surprise release. The former Everton trainee has great technique and determination for a compact midfielder who can play on the right or in the centre.

Thank you for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs

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After just 17 piecemeal starts and 20 substitute appearances Simmo played John in 8 of the 9 games following Keith’s untimely death in March 2010. For one so young he rose to the challenge of helping to save a club that was staring relegation in the face following the tragic loss of a father figure. Gary offered the lad a new 2 year deal as a reward, but did not stand in the way of a lad who has the ability to play higher.

A solid defensive or right midfielder, it was of no surprise that John elected instead to try his luck in the top flight of US football aka the MLS, with top side New York Red Bulls.  Then just 20 John still managed 5 appearances that season before making another 9 for Orlando before returning to Barnsley. John never got a look in at The Tykes who just managed to avoid relegation last season by finishing 21st to condemn Posh on the final day.

The Imps are not the only side on the 22 year old’s radar.  He is a free agent after being released from Oakwell and will have his agent pitching him at the League 1 & 2 clubs. But it looks as if we will be one of the side who will give him a trial should no one beat us to him.  John is a determined lad who would do well for a season in the BSP. Born in Croxteth, Liverpool, a hard part of the city, no one Simmo may make an exception to the six-foot soldiers rule.

Personal information
Full name John Richard Rooney
Date of birth 17 December 1990 (age 22)
Place of birth Liverpool,
Height/weight 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)11st 9lb (74kg)
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
1996–2002 Everton
2002–2008 Macclesfield Town
Senior Stats
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2008–2010 Macclesfield Town 46 (4)
2011 New York Red Bulls 5 (0)
2012 Orlando City 9 (2)
2012–2013 Barnsley 0 (0)

Jacko Era Mirrors Simmo’s Spring- “Who needs Mourinho”

Peter Jackson (Huddersfield Town & Bradford City) and Gary Simpson (Macclesfield Town) have endured harrowing experiences, to say the least, yet their optimism and appetite for the game has few equals. Both these Yorkshiremen have sent a wave of optimism through Lincolnshire that is so breath-taking there should be a picture of them both in the dictionary under the word Positive. Will we Imps doctor the song that rang round the McAlpine Stadium – “Who needs Mourinho, when we’ve got Jacko! (Simmo)?”, and hope Gary can go one better than the man, the more optimistic Imps, christened the Lord of The Imps?

Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs

No one should ever go to a game never to return home. Jacko however played in the Bradford fire match, when 56 fans lost their lives (54 Bantams and 2 Imps) and did just that as Championship celebration turned to tragedy in minutes. Peter helped to ferry the fans from the stands and has also survived throat cancer. His inspirational, unique, motivational skills, at the heart of the post admin Huddersfield side of 2003/4 saw him defeat the Imps over two legs, before going on to beat Mansfield Town on penalties. The following season the Terriers finished 9th as he was relieved of his position.  At Lincoln he overcame some bitter views from some due to an offside goal, then ensured we were safe before taking his medicine, on the way to beating cancer.  His wave of optimism and, the signing of the magnificent seven, lit up the Imp City even though, Villa friendly and a superb October apart, we failed to deliver.  But what a man, worthy of the giant Lord Of The Imps shirt, funded by fans and Mark Broughton at Sleafordian Coaches, who disapointed many, yet in truth he was guilty of no more than showing Imps we should dare to dream.

Jacko, part showman, part Uncle-style-figure to younger fans, was and is an all round decent human being, who ironically made Richard Butcher his first summer signing in 2009. The Impression he made on my lad and doubtless many others, went way beyond any superficial football requirement.  So often fickle fans remember the bad form, but Jacko is a good egg.

Gary has the same effect, although his aura is more laid back, more homely and humble. It is tough to lose two so close to you, namely the premature deaths  of Keith Alexander and Richard Butcher. One was a mentor, both were massive mates. KA & Butch had shared his happy times at Lincoln, before the fates had intervened to end a positive post admin period for the Imps, that would then end in double tragedy for the trio in just 12 months at Macclesfield. But on the smallest budget in the League Gary (and Vice-Chair Andy Scott – oh for him at Lincoln), fashioned the inner personal pain into a galvanising positive force that avoided relegation and then kicked on.  Player sales and injuries apart he might not have got the job he has always wanted.

Like Jacko, Gary Simpson lights up any room he enters, particularly dressing rooms. Simmo’s edge over Jacko, perhaps since PJ lost Yorath’s services, is tactical, his positivity extends beyond blowing smoke up the right players backside at vital times, because of his ability at the all important training ground. For Jacko, Yorath’s tragic path was perhaps an obstacle too far for a man aptly involved in the care industry, near back-from-the-dead FC Halifax,  the team he finished his playing career at under their previous guise.

How many of us like Mondays?  Yet Gary bounds in, win lose or draw. Don’t look back in anger, look forward and be prepared for the next challenge. Positive mental attitude, may be the term for the consultants, but in football, putting a bad run behind you, or continuing a winning sequence is, as much about kidology as it is belief.  In football things are so fluid that the goalposts move with an alarming degree that shakes a managers credibility with both players and fans. Win 6 you are a god, lose 6 and you are clueless, with those left out turning the barrel faster than a bad apple during a heatwave.

Simmo achieved this after the Holdsworth era, one of inconsistency, unprecedented player changes and a run that would undoubtedly lead to the BSN and financial ruin for the Imps. He shielded the players, gave them a clean slate and ‘wised them up’. More than just the tricks of the trade, he personally scouts the opposition and funds permitting, as at Macc, he would pay into a scouting service that costs very little (4 figures a year, if that). Player always knew their job, but more importantly, what was also realistically expected of them in the face of superior opposition.  Rock, paper, scissors in the face of superior pace, technique, strength, but, in all fairness rarely height inferiority.

The waves of optimism at Lincoln are long overdue  But let us hope he gets a little more bonhomie than that enjoyed by Peter Jackson.  Jacko had not fully recharged, got some bad luck and the fickle fans turned, using the hype against him to quickly pop the bubble. Our current manager will be mindful that fans memories are short, but unlike Jacko he will come back fully recharged. He is also fuelled by unfinished business and a desire to see the fruition of a dream forged in happy times, that two of his kindred spirits can only look down upon nowadays.

The Imps had no money then,  but we had a camaraderie second to none that took all by surprise as we surged to the play-offs at Cardiff. Belief is an incredible thing. It sustains, it inspires and it teaches us to smile through the adversity. Those who aim high may fail to touch the sky, but they have a better time of things and will always do better than those who expect the seeds to germinate with the first watering or do not even try.

Mmmm The Imps Squad Looks Tasty.

Given the raids on Stockport County, Burton Albion and Macclesfield Town, the Imps squad is already starting to look like a formidable unit next year.  The future of former Sheffield Wednesday hotshot and current Lincoln City, ‘darling of the D’  is still up in the air but sources within agents circles suggest that Boyce and Miller will put pen to paper next week.

Thank you for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs.

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We have another week to look forward to, further boosting, it has to be said, an already impressive squad. That is not just for the money, for the quality is there, as is the desire from players willing to take a lower wage. They believe in the management team who have sold them a vision and, relatively speaking, a heritage and passionate fan-base who will follow them to the ends of the earth. So many of the ingredients already appear to be there to provide a lot more than the sombre Sincil Bank sustenance we have become used to. Given the current call on the budget (it has grown thanks to 3 directors willingness to put hands in pockets and, as ever, the fans responding with over 700 season ticket sales thus far) 20 players looks the likely model.

So on the face of it we need 6 more to sign. There is also a loan budget that will allow for  up to 3-4 to come in. Simmo has already sprung a few surprises for Macc, with raids on some top North-West clubs as well as his Yorkshire homeland. If he had gone to Stockport there is no doubt our league fates would have been reversed due to the loan window opportunities at the time. They certainly have a football Mafia either side of the Pennines, with half the clubs relying on the loan side to make the sums add up.

Defensively speaking we only have a right and left back on the face of it, so look out for a conclusion with regard to Nat Brown coming on board permanently, Diagne choosing between us and at least 3 clubs, then further targets accepting deals. Miller will be as massive to us as Boyce, his versatility is fantastic. Indeed according to a contact, a cruciate ligament injury (this is the knee one that kept Shearer and others out and once ended careers) was the only thing between him and fulfilling his promise during his 2-year deal there. Should neither sign, two more centre-backs will arrive, possibly on six month loans or a permanent basis.

The midfield is mouthwatering, in truth Power could struggle to get in. Rowe is an attacking central midfielder straight out of the Lee Frecklington mould. Like our ex-Frecktanian his swashbuckling style, along-side no nonsense Nolan, bolstered by a decent defensive midfield, gives us scope for more than hope in an area that has been our perennial downfall.  Up front youth will get a chance with Connor and Jordan eager to earn a place in a 4-2-3-1, 4-3-3, attacking 4-5-1, 4-4-1-1 or perhaps even a traditional 4-4-2. Fairhurst is a cracker and, if Yussuff can stay fit, Vadaine or another big lad will complement a side that screams goals.

 The new  2013/14 Lincoln City Squad and Stats page is already up, with player profiles and up to date stats including games and minutes played,  goals, assists, card counts, fouls and even the clean sheets and goals conceded for keepers. Imps can find it after the home page on the menu at the top of the site. or you can book mark/add to favourites by clicking here . Then Click on the name and it will take you to the pen pic / profile of the relevant Lincoln City hero. As the season unfurls a match stats and form table will appear.

Welcome to the Lincoln City Squad page for 2013/14, 

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Goalkeepers

Paul Farman

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Defenders

Dan Gray,  Sean Newton

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Midfielders

Danny RoweJon Nolan, Alan Power, Todd Jordan,  Karl Cunningham, Mamadou FofanaJake Sheridan

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Strikers

Wade FairhurstAdi YussufConner Robinson, Jordan Thomas

1 Year Deal For Gray

Former Chesterfield FC full-back and defensive midfielder Dan Gray has signed a new 1 year deal at Lincoln City.  Simmo has now signed him for Macclesfield and The Imps, with the full term deal further illustrating 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.

Thanks for Reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs

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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 2012/13

Sq No NAME Starts Sub Mins Goals Shots Assists Fouls Fouled YC RC
15 Daniel Gray 35 4 3092 1 8 6 21 19 3 1
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 Lincoln City 39 (0)

Who Is Hamza Bencherif?

Notts County have released Hamza Bencherif,  who came here on loan from Nottingham Forest in 2007. He was also on the verge of a return in March, until a mysterious MLS club scuppered the chance for him to link up at the Imps with former Macclesfield Town team mates Tony Diagne and Nat Brown.  Simmo knows him well and would love to have him, but surely it would take a statement of ambition or a new Imp sugar Daddy to step forward and boost the budget so that we could afford him? That said season ticket sales would shoot through the roof.

Thank you for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs

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Hamza is an immense presence that would transform the Lincoln City midfield and make us into play-off contenders. Power would be free to fly, Todd Jordan would have a partner in crime.  But who is this mystery super hero?

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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 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.

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Despite hopes that he would sign full-time in both the January and the summer, a move failed to materialise, despite him failing to break into the Forest first team.  No doubt Matt Alexander, still a close friend, played a part in Macclesfield securing his services in the summer of 2009. Matt even Tweeted his best regards upon his release from Notts County.  In his natural centre midfield berth he was magnificent, although a leg break against Rochdale, in December, brought a promising season to a close.  He was fit and raring to go for 2010/11 banging in 11 goals, including a brace against Burton.

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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. 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.

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)
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
EA Guingamp
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)

Dan Gray Must Stay

Dan was surprisingly cast aside by Chesterfield FC last summer after a successful loan spell at Macclesfield, under, you guessed it, Gary Simpson. Last season he was used primarily as a right back but he is a true utility player who, arguably, operates best in a holding midfield role. Dan is thought to be keen to sign, but, as he is only 23, he would still command a fee should we manage to offer him a deal prior to any predatory club coming in.

Chesterfield FC crest.svg Macclesfield Town FC.svg Lincoln City F.C. badge.png

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 2012/13

Sq No NAME Starts Sub Mins Goals Shots Assists Fouls Fouled YC RC
15 Daniel Gray 35 4 3092 1 8 6 21 19 3 1
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 Lincoln City 39 (0)

Will Simmo Take The Silk Route?

Macclesfield are not in the best of shape after King blew the lot on a failed promotion bid. The Silkmen will be cutting their cloth this summer suggesting Nat Brown and Tony Diagne may not be the only recruits coming across the Pennines this summer.  John Paul Kissock, recently in from Luton Town, who swapped teams with Arnaud Mendy, also a target, would certainly shift some season tickets. And what better use of our extra budgetary wedge than Sam?

 Thank you for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs 

Macclesfield Town FC.svg

Simmo could well move for Sam Wedgebury, who will be 24 at the end of June and therefore not subject to the need for a tribunal. Sam can play in the middle but is particularly useful up and down the right. Carl Tremarco, a left-back is also back from a season-long loan at Floriana (top flight Maltese side) and will be an addition to the wage-bill the Silkmen could do without.

Pablo Mills (centre-back), John Paul Kissock (play-maker), Peter Winn (Left wing) and Wade Fairhurst (centre-forward) would be nice, but they will be on some very decent money. But then landing any of these lads would be a true gauge as to the level of ambition the board has.  If we want to be considered serious play-off candidates, and for that matter selling season tickets, landmark signings will need to arrive.  The Lincoln City fans are rightly sceptical  after the poor recent budgets afforded – given the stature and potential of our great club.

  Starts Sub Goals Shots Assists Fouls Fouled Yellows Reds
John Kissock 37 3 1 58 7 24 71 9 1
Samuel Wedgbury 37 1 0 28 2 37 60 7 0
Matthew Barnes-Homer 34 3 18 79 4 32 18 1 0
Pablo Mills 28 2 3 16 0 26 27 2 1
Waide Fairhurst 28 12 13 66 3 13 31 4 0
Nat Brown 22 0 2 7 1 16 21 2 0
Peter Winn 17 13 0 50 4 13 11 1 0
Kieran Charnock 13 0 0 1 1 17 10 4 0
Tony Diagne 7 9 0 7 0 7 7 2 0
Arthur Gnahoua 0 3 1 2 0 0 0 0 0
Ben Mills 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0