News has broken today that Lincoln have signed former Cambridge midfielder Tom Champion (30) on a 93 day loan from League Two side Barnet.
6’3 Champion spent last season as the Bees captain making 30 appearances but was told he could leave on a free in May along with former Imp Ben Tomlinson. His quest to find a permanent club was unsuccessful through the transfer window.
Champion brings bags of experience to Lincoln having captained Cambridge Utd during their play off success and FA Trophy win. He also played for Dartford leading them to the top tier of the non league pyramid which is probably where he first came across the Cowley brothers.
Tom is another big signing for Lincoln and he doesn’t fit the stereotypical Cowley signing being 30 years of age. However he has crucial experience of this division with Cambridge and plenty of football league experience too.
His loan spell will see us through to the Christmas period where no doubt he will be assessed with a view to a permanent move. I’d imagine the player still harbours a passion for playing in the football league and may want games under his belt before the busy transfer window. That said if we continue with our current run of form he may decide the best opportunity for another crack would be with The Mighty Imps.
Focus will now switch to the Solihull Moors game tomorrow night with Tom being available and more than likely going straight into the squad. Don’t expect him to start as he may be short of game time. He’s made one appearance for Barnet this season as an 89th minute sub against Accrington Stanley.
I personally saw Champion play a couple of times for Cambridge whilst I was living down there and fans will no be disappointed if he has retained the same work ethic and ferocious tackle that made him a hero at Abbey Road. At 6’3 he’s an imposing presence which National League teams will have to negotiate before they hit our brick wall of Raggett and Waterfall.
His arrival is certainly going to add something we haven’t got to the squad and looking at the recruitment policy since June he does fit the criteria for making the group stronger. He won’t be here to warm the bench which means further competition for places. He’s a predominately defensive midfielder who will be able to help defend set pieces but will also be able to give us something additional going forward. Lincoln are becoming a team of very big players with significant threat in the air.
I suspect it will eventually lead to Lee Beevers dropping back down to the bench despite his strong start to the season. Bradley Wood must be one of the first names on the team sheet and I like him much more in the full back role, especially if the midfield area in front of the defence is being marshalled by an in form Champion.
This could also spell trouble for captain Alan Power who may find his chances more limited as we move forward through October. The smart money would be on a loan deal with Power travelling out to another National League club. No doubt boosting a mid table club with an excellent campaigner like Power might take a few points off some of our rivals, like the moves for Stanley and Howe.