Speculation is mounting this morning that we may hear of another signing for Lincoln City today, possibly a loan move for a player ahead of the warm weather training camp.
The Imps fly out to Portugal tomorrow for six days where they’ll take on Benfica B and another as-yet unnamed side in much warmer weather, although I doubt they could have predicted quite how warm Blighty would be when they left. I went out to feed the birds earlier and burned my forehead it’s that warm.
Anyway the training camp is more than just a chance to put the boys through their paces, it is an opportunity to build the squad togetherness, something that Danny prides himself on as a manager. Whilst other teams have added numerous new faces, some completely rebuilding, we have added value in key areas. Whilst some knocked down their castle and have been frantically putting it back together again with new bricks, we’ve merely been cladding the shell of the National League winning fortress, even two of our five new faces are already known to us.
Danny is a shrewd man and he will know that having as many of the ‘first-team’ together over in Portugal will be more than advantageous. With the plane due to leave the tarmac tomorrow, that leaves just a small window of opportunity to announce a new signing.
I saw on social media someone had exchanged jokey comments with Danny as he was leaving Ashby Avenue, and in response to being told he never rests, DC replied ‘I’m going off to sign a player now’. He never rests, but he never jokes about his squad or dealings either and I firmly believe he was heading off to secure the services of a new face. Whether he enjoyed success or not is another matter, we know he won’t have been pressured into spending unwisely or excessively.
We still need a few bodies in, that much is for sure. One wonders if the three trialists, all defenders, will remain with the squad over in Portgual. If they do, and if they did end up at City I think we could almost class our defensive line up as completed. If Michee Efete were to join (on loan or permanent) then we’d have four recognised centre backs currently. Louis Ramsay (pictured top) and Brandon Ormand-Otterway could add the cover in the full back positions, and with James Rowe on trial in the centre of the park that adds a bit of strength there too. That (in my eyes) would leave us requiring another wide player or two, and perhaps another centre forward. It wouldn’t surprise me to see us go out to Portugal with one of those positions covered.
I know we won’t bring in all of the trial players, that isn’t how trials work. I found it interesting that James Rowe got as long as he did against Lincoln United, with Ramsay and Brandon (that’s how I’ll refer to him, my keyboard is worn out enough as it is) their time reflected necessity. Ramsay got 45 minutes which fitted in with the ‘pattern’ as Sean Long got the same, Brandon got more because on the day Sam Habergham wasn’t available. Had Sam been fit I suspect Brandon would also have got 45. James Rowe perhaps saw more minutes due to the pressing matter of only having three central midfield players, and only one (Alex Woodyard) that is as defensive minded as attacking minded. That doesn’t mean Rowe is closer to a deal than the others though, just that perhaps Danny needed a longer look at him.
With Benfica and a good standard English side to come in the next couple of days I suspect Danny will be formulating a starting eleven, and I’d even wager that the team that takes the field against Wycombe in just under four weeks time will feature ten players we currently have on our books. I suspect one of the wide positions is yet to be filled, whilst Ginnelly has the potential to start matches I think Danny will be hoping to start with Arnold and ‘a n other’ at Adams Park. Aside from that I think Farman, Long, Habergham, Raggett, Waterfall, Woodyard, Knott, Arnold, Rhead and Green will all start our first Football League game since May 2011. Over the first few months Josh will be fighting to dislodge the ‘new face’, but I’d bet Nathan Arnold is one of the first names on the team sheet.
That doesn’t mean we’re not expecting a few new faces between now and then, and if I had a tenner in my pocket and the fields of the Lincolnshire Wolds had a Ladbrookes in them, I might be tempted to ask for odds on a new face joining us today. It makes sense that DC would want to get as much out of the trip away as possible, and I’m sure he’ll be frantically trying to get at least one more player to put pen to paper and sign up for this exciting season.