I often look back at the players who pulled on the red and white shirt, analysing where they’ve gone to and what they’ve achieved, but today I’ve been thinking about those less successful players.
What happened to those pre-season trial players, the ones eager to impress but who didn’t make the grade at Lincoln? What happened to the exotic sounding pair who swept into Sincil Bank at the turnoff 2016/17, only to never be heard of again? Here, for a bit of light entertainment, is a look at a few of the no-starters from Danny and Nicky’s reign.
He was a full back I liked the look of in pre-season. He turned out against Lincoln United, but wasn’t eye-catching enough for Danny to take a punt on. Maybe it was his previous indiscretion as a Swindon player, caught inhaling nitrous oxide on social media. Maybe Danny just knew we’d have Neal Eardley coming soon.
After his Imps trial he drifted out of the English game, but not down the divisions. He’s now plying his trade in the Dutch Second Division with Helmond Sport. We say ‘plying his trade’, he appears to have played 37 minutes this season. Maybe it was an astute move not to sign him after all.
Rowe caused much confusion during his brief trial for being a doppleganger for Alex Woodyard. Perhaps given the fact Rob Dickie was identical to Sean Raggett, Danny thought he’d trial the idea of having virtual twins playing in different positions. It clearly didn’t work out, Rowe wasn’t offered a contract when his trial ended and off he went.
He’s not done badly for himself though, he dropped into the National League with Aldershot Town, a side he helped to an early season promotion charge. He’s made 38 appearances for them, scoring three times as they fight for a play off space. He might yet grace Sincil Bank after a decent season for Gary Waddock’s side.
Another one-match wonder, Harris came on trial ahead of the season but again, failed to impress sufficiently in his short stay at the club. He had some Football league pedigree too, having been at Bristol Rovers and Sheffield United.
He didn’t manage to secure a deal in the summer and in November, found himself at National League side Telford United. He made one appearance in the FA Cup before departing for AFC Fylde, although he didn’t sign for the National League side. As of March 1st he’s back at Bucks Head, Telford where they’re hoping to make his short-term deal a permanent one soon.
You remember Erwin, right? No? He turned up in January 2017 on a short-term trial looking to earn a spot in Danny’s then National League squad, but didn’t. He later went to FC Seraing, but fell out of favour there and was left looking for a club.
He’s now at RFC Liege, the club made famous by its refusal to release some bloke called Bosman in 1995. He went on to change the face of football for ever, but Liege ended up in the fourth division in Belgium, which is where the winger now plies his trade.
Here’s one we will all remember, Briggs looked half decent in pre-season as he tried to find himself a short-term deal. He’d been famous for a while back in 2006 as he became the youngest player to play premier League football. Unfortunately, he didn’t sustain that trajectory and his Imps spell was cut short around the same time Neal Eardley arrived.
He went to Chesterfield on another short-term deal but again failed to impress and ended up signing for Barnet. Martin Allen released him on his arrival, meaning Briggs is probably the only player to turn out for both relegated clubs this season, if they are both relegated. Which they will be.
Johan ter Horst
The lightweight striker (pictured top) came to Sincil Bank from Hull City on trial but again, failed to make his mark and ended up back over the Humber. Shortly after that he wound up at York City, where his input was minimal and relegation beckoned. When Hull released him in the summer, Maidstone picked him up on a free transfer.
Sadly, it didn’t work out at Maidstone either and he’s wound up at Folkestone Invicta, the same club he left for the bright lights of Hull as a youngster.