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Legend Holdsworth Returns To Management

Former Sheffield United, Watford FC and Birmingham City legend & Lincoln City and Mansfield Town manager David Holdsworth and Curtis Woodhouse have been appointed as the new management team at Goole Town as new chairman Baron Bloom heralds a bright and brave new dawn.

Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs

Watford badgeSheffield United logoBadge of Birmingham CityLogoLincoln City F.C. badge.png

Holdsworth played 115 games for Sheffield United, 300 for Watford and 112 for Birmingham City  in a distinguished career before moving into management with Ilkeston, Mansfield Town and latterly Lincoln City.  He has a wealth of contacts and has a track record for wheeling and dealing with a very high turnover of staff.  It will be interesting to see what Mr Holdsworth will do with some money behind him and he looks to be an exciting gamble  for property investor Bloom.

According to a press release from the club, Mr Bloom has been looking to become involved in a football club for some time and after investigating a number of options, has decided that Goole AFC offers the best opportunity to fulfil his ambitions.

He said of the appointment of Holdsworth and Woodhouse, “We are delighted to have appointed such a heavyweight team and feel this is a real coup for the Club”.

David  ‘Reg’ Holdsworth said ” I’m delighted to help Baron on his new project. After listening to his enthusiasm and desire, I hope together we can help lay some good foundations. This is a huge task and will take time, however we feel things can improve and start to change the fortunes of the club.”

Baron is determined to move the club forward both on and off the pitch and has some great ideas to improve our crowds as well as making greater use of our resources. Mr Bloom said of the venture

“I am very excited at the possibilities that this creates and I look forward to success, both on and off the field.  “For some time I have wanted to become involved in a non-league club and see how far we can move it forward. My role, which will be completely unpaid, will be to assist in improving the club’s revenue. All of this revenue will be applied to improve the club infrastructure and facilities as well as the on-field success. I am delighted to be involved with such a wonderful club, and together with the new board, I know we will take the club into many new arenas. We will be looking to work with the staff, the players and the fans and together we can take Goole AFC to ambitious new horizons. This is a wonderful opportunity for us all”.

 

Get Your Coat Mr Holdsworth – Simmo & Grant Please

From hero at Watford, Sheffield United and Birmingham City to double zero at Mansfield Town and now Lincoln with more signings than a Harry Potter book launch complete with JK Rowley and associated adland posse! Do ex-players make good managers, the late John Reames did not think so.

Watford badge Sheffield United logoBadge of Birmingham CityLincoln City F.C. badge.pngLogo

It is safe to say David Holdworth career and record has peaked. If he were a batsmen he would still put Alistair Cooke in his place – surely he is approaching the 120’s for just the one wicket (Mansfield Town) in the last two and a half years? We stopped counting here. In the interest of fairness let us start with the playing career highs and lows and end with the management slide.

 

The player

CLUB FROM TO FEE LEAGUE FA CUP LGE CUP OTHER
APS G APS G APS G APS G
Gretna 14 Jul, 03 31 May, 05 Free 31 (1) 0 3 (0) 1 2 (0) 0 2 (0) 0
Scarborough 01 Nov, 02 14 Jul, 03 Signed 16 (0) 1 2 (0) 0 0 (0) 0 0 (0) 0
Bolton 31 Aug, 02 01 Nov, 02 Free 0 (0) 0 0 (0) 0 1 (0) 0 0 (0) 0
Walsall 18 Jan, 02 22 Apr, 02 Loan 9 (0) 1 2 (0) 0 0 (0) 0 0 (0) 0
Birmingham 23 Mar, 99 31 Aug, 02 £1,250,000 77 (7) 7 1 (0) 0 10 (0) 1 8 (1) 0
Sheff Utd 08 Oct, 96 23 Mar, 99 £450,000 95 (0) 4 13 (0) 3 7 (0) 0 5 (0) 0
Watford 08 Nov, 86 08 Oct, 96 Apprentice 249 (9) 10 14 (1) 1 20 (0) 2 8 (2) 0
Totals £1,700,000 477 (17) 23 35 (1) 5 40 (0) 3 23 (3) 0

 

The Manager

CLUB FROM TO MANAGED WON DRAWN LOST
Lincoln 24 Oct, 2011 Present 71 21 19 31
Mansfield 29 Dec, 2008 18 Nov, 2010 91 37 20 34

Mr Holdsworth also managed Ilkeston, ex haunt of the great Keith Alexander between 1996 & 2,000. He was replaced by Mariners duo Paul Hurst and Rob Scott. This did see his best record. He managed 31, won 18, drawn 8, lost 5, for 48, against 29).

In reality Awful, with the addition of the word downward sums it up. But then so is the standard of the League we find ourself in. It’s the Conference when you strip away the façade. Has-beens meet up-and-comers, be that clubs or players. The standard of football is substantially below that of League football yet the pricing is anything but. So for fans to turn up you need to either put in the cash, sell them the loyalty close, or start counting up the assets and liabilities and put up with the dwindling moans along the way.

 

Gary Simpson and Grant Brown would put the pride back into Lincoln City whether Mr Holdsworth beats Barrow and Mansfield Town or not.  We need football men with mud in their boots and an eye for talent on the one hand. But we also need to restore the faith and pride of the fans who would be patient, knowing we have blokes who understand what Imp means.

Lincoln is better than that. How come the club is the only thing that has not moved forward in the City in the last decade? We have hit rock bottom, get someone in at a football level that can kick things into shape, as opposed to kicking the can down the road. Someone who can get the players to sell on if need be, but above all to sell some season tickets next season and beyond.

Gary Simpson and Grant Brown might just do that. And they like us would be doing it for the love of it as much as the money. That should be the mantra at the heart of a community club surely?

 

 

 

Has Smith Gone For Peanuts Like Loach To Ipswich?

Just as David Holdsworth was coming to terms with Loach’s Ipswich Town move,  so young prospect Sam Smith’s transfer to Cambridge United – ‘for ‘non football reasons’  – looks like another give-away.  It is just as well that the transfer of Bristol Rovers Mustapha Carayol to Middlesbrough appears to have saved our Lincolnshire bacon after a pre-season shambles continues to rock our once proud club. Yes Impdom has well and truly come to terms with  our BSP status with decisions off the field dictating the most important bit – the football on it. It is this short term, small time thinking that sees us where we are and what we are.

Middlesbrough Football Club Crest  Brist Badge.pngLincoln City F.C. badge.png logo Ipswich Town.svgWatford badge

Watford had few bargaining tools given Zola did not see Loach as part of his plans and, with just a year left on his deal,  Ipswich were therefore very much in the driving seat. Even so a £150k-200k deal, albeit with a few add-ons, must have gutted the manager as much as the financial backdrop that has overshadowed pre-season.  Then add to this two further blows, namely, three undisclosed bids (they have to be for legal and contractual reasons, thus leaving the media just enough room to speculate) from Cambridge that will see a player he rates move for between £15k and 25k; as well as assistant Westwood disappearing to Portsmouth.  Gowling has also been put on the transfer list, although as to whether that was cause or effect, given Miller has returned, is anyone’s guess.  Let us hope a pay-up scenario is not required to help him move on.

Holdsworth had told BBC Lincolnshire that a Sam Smith move would not be for football reasons. Indeed the club’s valuation of the player ranged from £25,000 to a somewhat bullish £50,000.  Given Cambridge United’s size and financial position, last season at least,  we felt somewhat confident that he would stay. But manager Jez George is mindful that it is Centenary year at United, pushing the boat out by paying fees for 4-5 players including Smith. Two new directors, Eddie Clark and Robert Smith, may have something to do with an increase in budget, at a club that at least puts the first team budget first and where it should be from a fans perspective.  By comparison the money, from both Smith and the Carayol sell on, will apparently go to plug that ever nearing black hole at the Imps.  Forget going for a return of the faithful, to wash our financial woes away then?  But then the club perpetuates a culture of setting the bar far too low.

We know, despite what many Imps see as guilt trips to get more money from us, that the Imps are on their uppers, after Bob saved the club. But in so doing he and selected friends put the golden keys to our one and only and, undoubtedly most prized asset – worth millions during the future redevelopment of the Sincil street to Sincil bank area – under the control of a holding company for perhaps as little as £300,000 of new money and arguably up to £500,000 all told.  Yet our Trust ghosted away over a million shares (worth £500,000) for free and without a vote knowing that the club still faced a short-fall of £150k half-way through this season.  But wait a further own-goal as the memorandums and articles of the new company stated that shares are valued at 10p each and, the double whammy that they must be sold to the other parties in Lincoln City Holdings first.  Desperate times call for desperate measures one feels, but surely the business logic of this is more short term than a Bank computer doing High Frequency Trading, on autopilot.  They have kicked a can down the road only for it to land on a magnet along with every other  molten meteorite in our financial path.

Surely, even 15k-20K for Smith is useful, given the club has had to ask its friends at the Trust to pitch in again to give a little more credibility to the stadium renaming raffle.  Welcome to the smoke and mirrors approach to PR and fundraising announcements at Lincoln City folks. The Trust normally puts funds  the clubs way this time of year, thanks largely to membership renewals.  Thus the £1500 they handed over when the venture looked to be netting under twenty thousand with just a few days to go, has been used as window dressing when the club would be getting it anyway.  You find a lot of this sort of thing happens at Lincoln, small time thinking generates small time results.

Indeed Lincoln City Banter, which tries to keep club fan politics – a particularly distasteful carbuncle on the backside of our community club and is why this site limits it to the financial section  –  to a minimum, has led the way raising £1800 for shirts this season. Although the 12th Imp (a newer organisation that appears to have discarded the 12th man -this was actually the one formed in 2009 that had been doing the share save scheme) takes the credit for raising £1500 for the renaming raffle, the posters of Vital Lincoln are in fact the ones who provided the bulk of the funds for the tickets. Both therefore deserve credit and STMI wish them good luck in the future.  Yet the moral to this story you feel is that the Trust should be leading and co-ordinating fans initiatives such as the new Player Saving Scheme if it is to get the widespread support and credibility it deserves. This too was devised on Lincoln City Banter but it is the fledgeling 12th Imp who will now administer the scheme after the Trust curiously turned down the opportunity to run it.

But back to Holdsworth, because the football comes first at our club  – Lincoln City Holdings please take note – as the reading stats prove on this site time and again. The clouds do have a silver lining, even if the Mustapha Carayol funds may not go to the first team, as appears the Cambridge way (incidentally they have just 3 part-time office staff at their club, suggesting they have a good cost base even if they may be throwing caution to the wind).   Holdsworth’s perceived return to a revolving door policy of late does appear to be worrying, yet it is because it is a needs must situation and, the goal posts are continually changing. The budget that many of us felt to be £400,000 ( DH confirmed this on the BSP site) including the renaming raffle, is around 50% higher than that figure, although that does also include the manager and the physiotherapist.  Smith can and will be replaced with a better player. He could already be here in the shape of Vadaine Oliver,  although the entrepreneurial Holdsworth has a few irons in fires and we should see 2 more in next week. Remember he already has a decent forward line in Rob Duffy, Jamie Taylor, Bradley Baraclough and the exciting new kid on the block Connor Robinson .

Please Help Reg Needs The Wedge!

Our manager has faced battles at Sheffield United, Birmingham and Watford as a player and then been made manager of Mansfield and Lincoln when the cupboards were bare.    Here in his own words,  a plea  from  David, for us to help him finish rebuilding our side. He has pushed the board to his credit but now we need to help with the cause and quick with only 5 days of the Renaming raffle to go.

As David Holdsworth puts it

“I think our financial position has been well documented 

The club has looked at various ways of bringing money to help compensate for losing solidarity payments and this is a great idea.

I would really appreciate any help that comes my way in terms of giving me a better budget.

And if the club can raise £50,000 then that would be absolutely fantastic and a credit to the community.

This will give fans and businesses the chance to help me sign a player and have their name in lights.”

Remember Entry forms are available on www.nameourstadium.com

Tickets are also available

at MSR Newsagents on the corner of St Marks and High Street, Lincoln as well as several Co-op stores in the city

AND MAY THE BEST IMP WIN!

Lincoln City Banter

urge fans

to go on-line to 

www.nameourstadium.com 

or

pick up a ticket from 

 

City Co-op stores or MSR Newsagents

(on the corner of St Marks and High Street in Lincoln)   

Ipswich Deal For Loach Nets Imps under 20K

The Imps will receive just £20,000 as part of the deal that sees Scott Loach move from Watford to Ipswich Town.  But then our manager will be grateful for a 5% increase in his budget unless the renaming raffle undershoots.

 Ipswich Town.svgWatford badge Lincoln City F.C. badge.png

The Watford Observer has confirmed the STMI story yesterday that Loach would scandalously leave the Hornets for under £200,000.  This is of no surprise given the player in the last year of his current deal – see the article in full here.

It is also a lot less than this, now pulled article from the Lincolnshire Echo  – Lincoln City set for £150,000 windfall if… Lincolnshire Echo 07:11

The big money this summer is to be made from the Middlesbrough deal with Bristol Rovers for Mister Carayol. Imps fans seem to realise this too with yesterdays leading article breaking STMI’s all-time reads record.  If only we could get a quarter of that amount to Sincil Bank every other Saturday.

Ipswich In for Loach & Zola Eye’s ex Spurs & Arsenal Keepers

Ipswich Town’s bid for Watford Keeper Scott Loach looks a goer  after Gianfranco Zola admitted the deal was a “possibility”and that he was looking for replacements with 38 year-old Tottenham keeper Carlo Cudicini and free agent and ex-Arsenal Keeper Manuel Almunia, high on the wish list.  The deal is unlikely to be the huge seven figure deal we Imps were hoping for, but it will still help Holdsworth’s Budget none the less. (see also our June 1st story HERE)

Thank you for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs

Ipswich Town.svgWatford badgeTottenham Hotspur.svg Arsenal FC.svg Lincoln City F.C. badge.png

With Paul Jewell losing faith in  Lee-Barrett, Ipswich have been on the keeper trail for most of the summer.  They even looked set to travel to Holland on tour without a recognised keeper.  Town looked to have pipped Watford and Bristol City for the services of ex- cardiff City keeper Tom Heaton, but this like the interest in loach appeared to be just rumour.  They also had Hearts keeper Mario Kello on trial recently who had interested Villa prior to Guzan signing a new deal.

Ipswich Town.svg

Although the bid for Loach finally came yesterday, it is unlikely to be a big one with Jewell on record as saying he does not have a lot of money to spend.  The Blues were also recently outbid for Leeds United keeper Andy Lonergan, as Bolton swooped in a £200,000 deal that Ipswich were unable to match.  Jewell had then suggested a season-long loan might be the answer.

Therefore the dream move for Town fan Loach is unlikely to net the Imps more than about £20-25K given we only make 15% on any profit from a sell on. We have also received around £60,000 already in the up-front fee and add-ons.

This is Watford’s last chance to cash in on Scott Loach, now second in the pecking order of the once green and gloved department. The star has a year left on his current deal, suggesting both sides will be best served in doing a deal now, yet other suitors may also  help to up the anti. The Watford and Ipswich forums are awash with the news following the news today.  Loach is a quality young and consummate keeper despite the odd issue, alas in front of the cameras for the U21′s.


ScottLoach.jpg
STMI BIOPIC
FULL NAME Scott James Loach
DATE OF BIRTH 27 May 1988 (age 24)
PLACE OF BIRTH Nottingham
HEIGHT 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
PLAYING POSITION Goalkeeper
CLUB DATA
CURRENT CLUB Watford
NUMBER 1
YOUTH CAREER
1997–2000 Ipswich Town
2000–2002 Nottingham Forest
2002–2004 Southwell United
2004–2006 Lincoln City
SENIOR STATS (LGE & CUP)
YEARS Team Apps (Gls)
2006– Watford 163 (0)
2007 Stafford Rangers (loan) 11 (0)
2007 Morecambe (loan) 2 (0)
2008 Bradford City (loan) 20 (0)
INTERNATIONAL
2009–2011 England U21 14 (0)

Will Stags KO Imps Dempster Interest or lend a Hand?

The Stags look set to pip Lincoln and Tamworth to the signature of released Crawley centre half  John Dempster and would you believe ex-Imp and former Luton Town, Watford, Oxford, Chester City and Hayes midfield marauder Jamie Hand; will be offered a deal as well.

Crawley Town crestLogo Lincoln City F.C. badge.pngLogoRushden & Diamonds.svg

According to the Mansfield Chad HERE the Stags manager is set to table offers this week to centre-half Dempster and midfield mangler Hand.  Stags boss Paul Cox admitted: “We will sit down and talk to both players this week, but there are other clubs talking to them both too. Everyone knows what we would get off ‘Demps’ and he would be a really positive signing. And I think Jamie would give us something different, especially with Adam Murray and Anthony Howell recovering from operations.

The Imps and the Lambs cannot compete with big spending Cox who has a budget second only to Luton’s. Let us hope Reg’s silver tongue can make up for his lack of wedge. With Westwood up the road and Sam Smith set to follow, we had best get season tickets at Lincoln Cathedral too.

Dempster’s stats & STMI bio is HERE

And here is Jamie in all his gory glory.

Hand, Jamie.jpg
STMI Biopic
Full name Jamie Hand
Date of birth 7 February 1984 (age 28)
Place of birth Uxbridge,
Height/Weight 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) 11st 8lb (73.47kg)
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
1996–2001 Watford
Senior  stats Lge & cup
Years Team App (Gls)
2001–2006 Watford 61 (0)
2004  Oxford United (loan) 11 (1)
2005  Livingston (loan) 9 (0)
2005  Peterborough United (loan) 2 (0)
2005 Peterborough United (loan) 7 (0)
2005–2006 Fisher Athletic 0 (0)
2005–2006 Northampton Town (loan) 11 (0)
2006–2007 Chester City 50 (3)
2007–2008 Lincoln City 25 (0)
2008 Oxford United (loan) 13 (0)
2008–2009 Ebbsfleet United 25 (1)
2009 Chelmsford City 11 (0)
2009–2010 Woking 1 (0)
2010 Hemel Hempstead Town 11 (0)
2010–2012 Hayes & Yeading United 67 (4)
2011 Luton Town (loan) 14 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic

If 1,000 Lincoln City Banter fans signed up

at an average of £1 per week

we could raise £52,000

That is a 12.5% increase in the playing budget

Join Paul Dawson’s

& Lincoln City Banter’s  campaign

HERE & NOW.

Ipswich move for Loach will Boost Reg’s Budget

Scott Loach finally looks set to join Ipswich Town 6 months later than all of Impdom had hoped for.  Spurs and Arsenal had  both been interested, yet baulked at a £3.5-£5m swoop last summer – as did the Tractor Boys in January. Manager Paul Jewell however is still looking for a keeper and having also had designs on the lad in the winter window,  now looks set to pounce.

Watford badgeIpswich Town.svg

This is Watford’s last chance to cash in on Scott Loach, now second in the pecking order of the once green and gloved department. The star has a year left on his current deal, suggesting both sides will be best served in doing a deal now, yet other suitors may also  help to up the anti.

The Watford and Ipswich forums are awash with the news following the leak on Sky Sports News today.  Loach is a quality young and consumate keeper despite the odd issue, alas in front of the cameras for the U21’s.

Should he and Carayol both move  David Holdsworth looks set for a transfer bonanza.  The Undisclosed deal that saw Loach leave the Imps for Watford included a £40k lump after 30 appearances and then between 20 and 25 percent of the profit on any transfer paid to Watford.  Carayol meanwhile could also net us a hefty penny with a 20% cut of any deal on a similar basis.  Bristol Rovers will need to increase their offer for Constable  so a bid from Derby County, Middlesbrough or Sheffield Wednesday would come in just nice for all parties concerned.

Holdsworth’s current budget currently stands at £400,000 plus the proceeds from the renaming raffle so he could realistically double that with the cut on these two deals.  In fact I can think of a couple of Cab drivers who would gladly drive these two lads there if it helps? So its all up to the Cathedral on Sunday for some serious prayer.


ScottLoach.jpg
STMI Biopic
Full name Scott James Loach
Date of birth 27 May 1988 (age 24)
Place of birth Nottingham
Height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Club Data
Current club Watford
Number 1
Youth career
1997–2000 Ipswich Town
2000–2002 Nottingham Forest
2002–2004 Southwell United
2004–2006 Lincoln City
Senior Stats (Lge & Cup)
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2006– Watford 163 (0)
2007 Stafford Rangers (loan) 11 (0)
2007 Morecambe (loan) 2 (0)
2008 Bradford City (loan) 20 (0)
International
2009–2011 England U21 14 (0)

Imps Toast Loach To Ipswich For £1M

 

Ipswich Town will sign Watford goalkeeper Scott Loach for £1 million in January, netting the Imps 15% of the sell on fee.  The tractor boys will also take Hugo Rodallega on loan from Wigan and make bids for Ben Haim from Portsmouth and Andy King from Leicester.  On the downside  Bullard is off to Leeds United or QPR and Cresswell off to chew toffees at Everton

 

 

This paves the way for a busy January window for David Holdsworth,  eager to boost a side held together by hope, youth and string,  going into its second Lincolnshire derby in a week. David Holdsworth will add as many as 3-4 new faces to the side if everything works out.  Leeds have offered us Will Hatfield and Sanchez on a youth loan (see Tuesday’s story here) and Leicester City have agreed to Leicester City no3 keeper Adam Smith also joining on loan.

 

As for the other 1 or 2, that will depend on events unfolding with two other highly paid professionals on the verge of a move and a potential pay-off respectively.  Two have already left and together with the Loach cut three favourites can now be retained.  Thompson and Sheridan will now be offered deals until the end of the season at least and Conal the Conjurer is set for a longer term deal.

 

 

Lincoln City Shareholders AGM & David Holdsworth Q & A

Save The Mighty Imps were at the Lincoln City AGM on Thursday,  which was very much the expected damp squib,  bar the enlightening Q & A with the manager afterwards. We are a football club primarily and there is  a time and a place for the politics so we will centre on the managers comments for the purposes of this article except to say this was to be expected,  given the need for the Trust and board to maintain the status quo for as long as they can.

Clearly even the trifling matters of the relegation, the huge losses,  inconsistensies on the part of the chairman, including a private settlement with a potential investor (and want-to-be director)  and a £42,000  guilty plea from a member of the Trust board on the Tuesday; were never going to be topics for free and open discussion. Should anything come up a longwinded patronising comment would do the trick, although thankfully it was only called upon the once, although once was clearly enough. So without delay – and perhaps choice – onwards and upwards.

David Holdsworth

What a likeable chap David Holdsworth is, captivating you with his cockney charm in an instant. You can tell he wants it, is genuinely  feels honoured to be managing a big club like Lincoln City and he relishes it albeit a tough task and a tough ask given thwe cupboard appears to be all but bare. He opened proceedings with a meet and greet that had us in the palm of his hand…. bodes well for the players who share his enthusiasm and want to work then?

David Holdsworth, or DH if you will excuse the initials – like GT the great former manager he is becoming more and more like –  is a big fitness fan it appears, yes although we have heard that little chestnut before – an old one in the game –  DH adds the applience of science with ex sponsor the University of Lincoln partneres in the scheme of things.  The fitness aim is to be Premiership standard with a database created to monitor twice taken body fat and VO2 Max levels (Fitness can be measured by the volume of oxygen you can consume while exercising) to ensure the players inhalation and airwaves are at a peak.

VO2 max is a measure of a person’s aerobic fitness. (liters per minute) or ml/kg/min (mls of oxygen per kilogram of body weight per minute). A player is considered to have reached their  VO2 max if several of the following occurrs: a plateau or ‘peaking over’ in oxygen uptake, maximal heart rate was reached, attainment of a respiratory exchange ratio of 1.15 or greater, and volitional exhaustion.

The table below categorizes VO2max scores for adult men and women of various ages. These are relative VO2max scores, in the units of mls of oxygen per kilogram of body weight per minute (ml.kg-1.min-1).  The following  table are the norms expected for we non finely tuned folk.

Max oxygen uptake norms  (ml/kg/min)

Men only by Age
rating 18-25 26-35 36-45 46-55 56-65 65+
excellent > 60 > 56 > 51 > 45 > 41 > 37
good 52-60 49-56 43-51 39-45 36-41 33-37
above average 47-51 43-48 39-42 36-38 32-35 29-32
average 42-46 40-42 35-38 32-35 30-31 26-28
below average 37-41 35-39 31-34 29-31 26-29 22-25
poor 30-36 30-34 26-30 25-28 22-25 20-21
very poor < 30 < 30 < 26 < 25 < 22 < 20

Not wishing to be sexist, here is one for the ladies.

Women only by Age
rating 18-25 26-35 36-45 46-55 56-65 65+
excellent > 56 > 52 > 45 > 40 > 37 > 32
good 47-56 45-52 38-45 34-40 32-37 28-32
above average 42-46 39-44 34-37 31-33 28-31 25-27
average 38-41 35-38 31-33 28-30 25-27 22-24
below average 33-37 31-34 27-30 25-27 22-24 19-21
poor 28-32 26-30 22-26 20-24 18-21 17-18
very poor < 28 < 26 < 22 < 20 < 18 < 17

This dovetails nicely with DH’s concerns over recovery rates,  with two games a week always a big part of the first half of the conference season and the latter should inclement weather force postponements. As could be seen at Newport last week the pitches are poor on a good day.  DH is big on stretching post match and diet in general with his meticulousness –  hopefully not micro management as that can be counter-productive and alienating in the extreme – stretching to dental hygiene and the regular brushing of the players Hampstead Heath – teeth.

DH was diplomatic when faced with a question of ambition, namely promotion – staggering that it was to ‘oohs and ahs’ from a thankfully aging audience.  he is a polished character and sidestepped it well with survival clearly the name of the game.  You cannot be over confident but he is looking upwards, ever mindful of the dangers and pitfalls that fill face us when we consider the financial downsize and limitations he has inherited. Doubtless on and off the pitch.

Former Trust Chairman John Roddam – oh that they and we ex Trust members could do with your stewardship now –  brought up the ‘players into the community’ adage.  DH is a big fan and brought up the fact that he has been heavily influenced by Graham Taylor throughout  his career, thus this is a big part of his philosophy at Lincoln City going forward.  To this end the players to the local children’s ward at Lincoln next week will hopefully be the first of many involving the team and management.  Towards the end of proceedings DH professed a desire for the players to meet the fans more.

Andy Blow the eminent local  historian (  http://www.blowbyblow.co.uk/ ) quizzed the manager on his youth policy, with neccesity clearly the mother of invention at the Imps nowadays. Have no fear, having coached youth for 18 years, DH is keen to talk to Grant Brown on a regular basis and believes that if you are good enough then you are old enough to play in the first team.  Heart warming stuff DH and also very Tayloresque?

The prickly keeper issue and the need for a big albeit more mobile centre-forward came up with next.  The expensive Anyons is a luxury we can’t afford, even if Farman cannot kick and DH initially brushed this issue aside in favour of the Kyle Perry problem.  Essentially KP is doing the right things off the pitch having lost a stone and Tuesday was just not his kind of game hence the substitution. The realities of a small club left him as our only fit option for a while and with Medley Cup tied on Saturday, along with Farnham giving Jo a go between the sticks,  you have to give the lad game time.  Taylor is almost match fit, Laurent is seeing an ankle specialist, Hutch may need surgery and  Smith is a little while off so competition is not a luxury the Imps enjoy at the minute.

The Anyon issue was then pushed again, with DH ever the diplomat,  side stepping the elephant in the room to an extent. We have two great young keepers with differing strengths and weaknesses, both still learning their trade. Jo will get a chance to earn the shirt on Saturday. Is this a rare chance to put him in the shop window thanks to Farman being cup tied and a rumoured move to Crawley in January?  As to former favourite Marriott coming in during the window, it is as unlikely then as it will be when his current deal expires in June.

David Holdsworth then went into one of his inspirational monologues, not excitable but then never understated. Let us hope he is backed he could as yet be the 21st centurey enticer.  DH wants channelled aggression and passion. When he arrived the dressing room was a lacklustre place, inevitably heading downwards.  Popularity stakes were never an option  as the new torch-bearer attempted to show them the light, with a my way or the highway approach.  It is his way or he will take them where they want to go.  Arnaud has gone back to France and Sheridan has now fully joined Team-Lincoln after working notice and finishing his last two days in a factory last week. Jake is working on his fitness and there will be a lot more to come from that lad.  DH expects at least one or two more to follow the Frenchman’s lead.

The disciplinarian has instigated a social media ban at the club,   the big brother world is almost as big a problem as players egos it seems. There is a mobile phone ban in place to avoid the text distraction and head phones are frowned upon as it is not conducive to team building.   DH does not want his team selection and shape revealed to the opposition ahead of the game, a practice he jovially enjoys.

DH’s phone meanwhile is red hot with players wanting to join although lack of cash and a desire to avoid journeymen in favour of the young and the hungry who wear the shirt with pride, will focus his approach. He may get a boost in January with a £100k cut from any Loach deal, unless the cashflow requirements eat it up as feared.   Reiterating both his no I in T-E-A-M and the community aspect DH professed a desire for all of the players to meet the fans both regularly and soon.

With new centre half Jason Beardsley joining the following day it was no surprise to explanations to the whereabouts of  Danny Hone and Adam Watts.  Danny needs games and Barrow were keen to oblige. When and if he comes back he will have an opportunity to fight for his place although DH was appreciative that his wages were currently coming back into the club.  Adam Watts has now lost his father and is currently in London. STMI’s thoughts go out to you Adam.  Two other players have also recently lost family members, condolenses again, from a dressing room morale perspective,  they do say things happen in threes.

David Holdsworth, a raconteur until the end, then left us in no doubts that Team Lincoln will avoid relegation and fight for every point.  Well here is to a festive Bank bounce-back and a financial boost in the new year.  With the directors unsure of the cash-flow projections for January, my money is on a new Chair and vice chair plus a six figure windfall from Loach.  David Holdsworth with a war chast  mmmmm Sincil Salivates…………………….