Great news this evening coming out of Sincil Bank, ‘steady seven’ Sam has signed an extension to his current contract, and pledged his immediate future to City.
Often the pre-season clamour for signings takes precedent, and clubs can be judged on who they bring in rather than what they do to hang on to their key players. Keeping Farms and Waterfall was a great move by the club, and now Sam putting pen to paper really ices that cake.
I’ve spent all season blowing smoke up the player’s arse and I’m sure you’re getting tired of it now (at least I don’t tag them in social media posts though. Cringe). I don’t need to tell you what Sam Habergham offers this side, you’ve seen it for yourself. He scores free-kicks, something we’ve never really been good at, he overlaps the wingers but is always first to track back as well. His dead ball delivery is obviously sufficient, he had the third highest amount of assists this season. He’s a very good player, more than capable of playing League One football. He also has a wicked left foot, a valuable commodity at any level of the game.
Retaining his services for another year gave me a warm glow, because for me it signals Danny and Nicky’s intent to stay with us as well. Sam Habergham is one of their ‘generals’, along with Alex Woodyard he’s been on the journey with them longer than we have. When those two guys sign on for two years, it is safe to assume the intention from the managers is to stay that time as well.
Look, here is a harsh fact: we will lose a player or two this summer. The smart money is on a Sean Raggett move, if someone finally triggers his release clause of course. The other players primed for a move were Sam, Luke Waterfall and Alex Woodyard, but all three have pledged their future to Lincoln City. Don’t under estimated the message that sends out to potential suitors.
As fans we only see half of what goes on, the rest we fill in for ourselves. We see Sam is contracted for a year so we move on to those who are not contracted. However, there will be a lot of League Two and One clubs out there in need of a left back and with a few hundred thousand to spend. The danger of losing Sam was as real as the danger of losing Raggs, but by signing an extension he essentially puts up a ‘not for sale’ sign and moves on with his pre-season preparation.
Those worried that our current players are signing, but new faces are not: don’t. The proper season hasn’t even ended yet, and teams signing players now are paying over the odds. That is fine if you’re Mansfield, but at this level you never know what is around the corner. Being frugal and attentive to the bank balance is common sense, and a player costing £2.5k a week now might be costing £1.5k come the end of June. I trust Danny completely, and I can’t ever say I have given any manager 100% trust. I don’t believe he will bring filler players to the club, I don’t believe he will invest in expensive white elephants but most importantly I don’t think he will go into next season under strength.
Getting a player like Sam Habergham to sign an extension is a shrewd bit of business. It is rewarding the player for helping to get us promoted, and it is firing a flare into the sky for our League Two rivals to see. There will be no mass-exodus. We are not a selling club. We are not just back to make up the numbers, we’re back to carry on the journey we started twelve months ago.
Now everyone settle back in your chair and be patient for news of new signings, rest assured just because you’re not hearing anything doesn’t mean hard work isn’t being put in.