I ask a Lincoln City fan how they will do in League Two this season.
Tell us a bit about your season last season firstly. Would you say it was a success or failure? Did you achieve anything throughout the season, and were the fans happy with the end result?
Well for us last season was a tale of two halves. The first half we were hugely impressive. After years of hoof ball, with John Schofield we played attractive, attacking football and gave us results. Most notably and I`m sure you guys will have been pleased a 7-1 thrashing against Rochdale, and in October we achieved 1st place. However come January we failed to put any money into the team and strengthen. This added to rumours of player unrest most notably the board APPARENTLY weren’t paying the goal bonuses we ballsed it up and only won 4 games in 2007. The season was a failure when looking at the great start and after a thrashing against Bristol Rovers in the play offs meant the fans on the whole weren’t too happy.
Obviously every close season sees players leave. Who left your club and were you happy with the decision to let those players go by your boss?
We lost 2 what you call first team players. First Paul Morgan teams up with Alexander at Bury. He was one of the best defenders I`ve seen at Sincil Bank in a back 5 but one of the worse in a back 4 and with us now playing 4 at the back he wasn’t up to the job. He was also one of the biggest earners and wanted to be nearer to Manchester so he isn’t a great loss. We’ve also lost our left midfielder Jeff Hughes who`s gone to Palace for £350,000. Jeff has the talent but was poor last season he was lightweight and didn’t seem to have the bottle to fight. In that regard we did well to get a decent amount of money for him.
So obviously, with players going out, some have got to come in. Who has come in for you, and do you expect them to do well? Tell us a bit about these lads?
We’ve brought in Steve Torpey who will give us a nasty edge and impose himself on the opposition which will was missed.
Louis Dodds – looked impressive in midfield after signing on loan from Leicester. He’s quite nippy and has an eye for goal (apparently) so hopefully he’ll do well.
Gary Croft – Steady, experienced full back expected to be solid if not spectacular.
Ben Wright – A striker/midfielder from IK Start in Iceland been injured for the last 3 years however apparently has lots of talent and we beat off competition to sign him. Not played yet but hopefully will bang the goals in.
Michael Roddy – youngster from Bolton a defensive midfielder who will be on the fringes of the squad.
Who are going to be your star players this season then? Who`s going to get the goals, and who`s going to stop them?
Star player look no further than Lee Frecklington a home-grown attacking midfielder who in his first full season established himself as a key player and also got himself in the L2 team of the year. The boy has everything including an eye for goal, to be honest I`d be surprised if we kept him until the end of the season with Premiership clubs sniffing around. Top scorer Jamie Forrester knows where the goal is and has great movement so expect him to finish top scorer again.
Alan Marriott is one of the best keepers at this level and a great shot stopper will be formidable in goal(hopefully!).
Season ticket sales help the club at the beginning of the season to stabilise the place and give it a bit of extra income. How many season tickets have your club shifted these season so far, and what do you expect the average attendance to be throughout the season?
We’ve sold over 1600 season tickets up to 3 weeks ago so add on another couple of hundred same as last season is expected. And for average attendance expect 4,500 but as for every team it all depends on how well the teams doing.
Tell us a bit about your gaffer and his backroom staff. Do the fans like the gaffer, or can you see him being out of a job after a run of bad results?
Well we now have a gaffer who we`re happy with, with John Schofield signing a new 3 year contract and a change of title from head coach to manager so he’s not going anywhere. We also have John Deehan who`s helping Schofield out however with Schofield now manager and with Deehan missing the squad photo (celebrating his 50th
so the club say) it remains to be seen if he’s going to stay. We also have legend Grant Brown and Tom Spall helping our excellent youth academy.
I think 99% of fans support Schofield as its his second full season, in his first most fans enjoyed his style of play much more and gave us our biggest points total in years so in the whole most fans are in favour. He’s also a very nice guy and has been a player before, he truly loves the club we just need the chairman to back him and give him money.
This question is split into two. What do you BELIEVE your club can achieve this season, and what do you HOPE your club can achieve this season?
I honestly believe and hope that we can get promtion. We have a very strong core with Marriot, Beevers, Frecklington and Forrester. However we need to tighten our defence up and also spend in the January window if we are there or thereabouts. Our fans cant take another year on the play offs – that makes 6!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So promotion is a must and please no play offs we cant
Finally, whom do you expect to win the division, who do you think will go up with them and who do you think will be relegated?
Winners I expect to be Peterborough they have bags of cash but have bought quality and in Boyd and Mackail Smith they’ll go up but not by much. I also think us (Lincoln) not just bias but we have the quality needed and also Wycombe will sneak it. MK Dons to win the play offs.
I also see Morecambe and Macclesfield to go down both just don`t have the quality and especially in Macclesfield’s case they lost Ince who worked miracles in keeping them up!