Tickets for the first pre-season friendly of our League Two campaign are selling fast, with Lincoln United chairman Rob Bradley announcing that 1100 have already been sold.
At present that means around 50% of the tickets have been sold, and with them being available from the stadium tonight and tomorrow night as well expect that figure to continue to grow. Whilst there will be availability on the day, if the tickets sell out some fans could be disappointed. Similarly, expect big queues on Saturday for fans without tickets.
Why the craze over a mere pre-season friendly? Interest in both football clubs is on the rise, our own beloved Lincoln City had a season as the media darlings selling record numbers of season tickets and experiencing unprecedented interest from within Lincoln. The Whites are also a club on the move, new chairman Rob Bradley is a former Imps chairman with plenty of Football League experience, and they’re hoping to push for promotion and a rise up the non-league pyramid.
It should be a really good afternoon for fans of football in the city. The National League trophy will be on display, and the clubs will be contest the first CityUnited trophy. There will be a guest appearance by former Imps player and all-time legend Alan Marriott, and as well as the usual pre-match routine at the Sun-Hat Villas Stadium (Ashby Avenue), City will bring Alan Long and Poacher the Imp to name but two. It promises to be a superb day for everyone in Lincoln.
There is advice for parking etc, the Priory School will have a limited number of parking spaces as street parking will be restricted around the ground. Please park sensibly, remember the ground is in a residential area and Lincoln United will be eager for you to respect the local residents on match day.
Of course for both teams it is very much a pre-cursor to the bigger issues at hand, promotion from their respective leagues. Lincoln City will be fielding a new-look side for the first time, with new faces such as Stacey West-sponsored Matt Green and Ollie Palmer getting a run out. Lincoln United will be looking to add more to their trophy cabinet than the Fair Play award which they won last year, with manager Sam Wilkinson targeting a play-off spot at the very least.
The Imps v Whites fixture is a regular occurrence on the pre-season calendar, but very rarely has it attracted as much attention as this season. Last time around a fledgling Danny Cowley side were defeated 2-0 in the clash, then a Lincolnshire cup match. Perhaps the most memorable of all for City fans took place during the open day of 2008 when a Romanian called Adrian Patulea announced his arrival at City with a hat trick in a 6-0 Imps win.
I’ll be there in my capacity as editor of the new magazine, and look out for an announcement on that very shortly too. However, as a celebration of football in Lincoln Saturday promises to be a remarkable day, and hopefully one that will become a staple of the footballing calendar for two increasingly successful football clubs.
For more information about kick off times etc, please visit the official Imps site here.