If the so-called lack of new signings is concerning to you, it’s time to think again. This afternoon Lincoln have secured the services of a £500k rated midfielder, a player instrumental in a championship winning side last season.
The fact he already plays for us is irrelevant in my eyes, and given that smaller clubs in higher leagues have been chasing him, its relaxing to know he’s pledged his future to City. He’s signed his third contract with the club keeping at Sincil Bank until 2019
Scunthorpe made an ‘eye-catching’ offer for Woodyard last week, but he’s pledged his future to City effectively ending speculation over his future. I don’t like to say I was right, but I never figured a club like Scunthorpe could just ‘buy’ a player like Alex Woodyard. He’s always struck me as a man who wants to progress the right way, not by having money thrown at him.
This is great news for the club, it isn’t a new signing but it is every bit as good as one. Woodyard is vital to everything the Cowley brothers do, he’s integral to the team and cleaning up at the Player of the Year awards proved that.
The contract is clearly a sign of his belief in the management duo, the opportunity to ascend the leagues quickly was in front of him and he refused it. Aside from Scunthorpe he had been tracked by Aston Villa and Bolton according to reports. If that is the situation then it really shows the size of the coup made this afternoon.
I’m really excited about this news, I think Woodyard and Knott will form an effective partnership in midfield, and they’re both better than League Two. They are both are clearly influenced heavily by our management duo also, and it is perhaps that point which excites me more than the abilities of the two players.
What is really exciting is the display of trust and loyalty within our club. Alex trusts Danny and Nicky, and they trust him. It isn’t something that happens often in football and it is a measure of the culture we have at the club. Billy Knott has dropped down to our league to play for them too, proving that they’re offering something special.
You wonder if Raggs might feel the same? Next season we’ll have these discussions over Sam Habergham too, will he been the same also? Could the nucleus of our National League winning side form the spine of our club for years to come?
If this is the case, as it clearly is, then why would we worry about players going elsewhere? This side isn’t being crafted like Mansfield, throwing handfuls of mud at a wall and hoping some of it sticks. Danny and Nicky are cultivating a team of good players, players who know each others game and players who will be on method quickly. The odd striker here and maybe a full back there will help us grow, but there will be a cohesion to our game.
Remember this, when Mansfield cross over the paint on August 5th it is fair to assume the whole 11 players will only have appeared together five or six times in friendlies. When we go head-to-head with Wycombe on the same day, the spine of our team will have played 50 or 60 games together already. If they were National League quality stepping up to League Two then we might have a problem, but they’re not. They’re players attracting other teams at this level and higher, players other club’s know are good enough to perform a role.
Think about it. Players who played 30 odd games for us last season earned moves to the Scottish Premier or Notts County, players who weren’t the first names on the team sheet are believed to be good enough for League Two and the Scottish Premier. When we think about new signings, I’m glad we’re doing our business slowly and carefully, because unlike our friends at Field Mill, we don’t need a complete rebuild.
It’s easy to look at the names of signings and say a team has strengthened, but they’ve only strengthened personnel. We proved last season you need more than just players, you need the correct training, tactics, sports science, and management. You don’t strengthen by just adding names and quality, we’ve proven that over the years when the likes of Joe Allon and Fortune-West arrived billed as good players.
Fans should not be underestimating our greatest strength of all, the ‘Cowley Method’. Alex Woodyard believes in it so as far as I’m concerned, we should all believe in it.