2017/18 Opinion – Defenders Part One

After looking at the keepers yesterday, today I’m going to look at the defenders we’ve had this season.

In order to break it down into manageable and readable chunks, I’m going to take the departed players and fringe squad members today, then look at the current first team players tomorrow. Without further ado, lets all lament our loss at New Year, shall we?

Sean Raggett

28 appearances, three goals and more goodwill than most players amass in a whole career. It seems almost unbelievable that Sean Raggett was a Lincoln player five months ago, we’ve been talking about his departure (or potential departure) for such a long time.

Sean’s header won us the game away at Swindon, a game that had we not won we wouldn’t have made the top seven. Look, I know it is easy to pinpoint any game and lay the praise at someone’s feet, but that was a crucial win at a big point in the season. His goal also saw off Accrington in the Checkatrade Trophy, another crucial moment in our successful season.

Aside from that, he was the one of perhaps only two who stepped up to League football without an issue. Luke Waterfall was in and out of the side, Rheady struggled at first and Sam hasn’t been himself either. Sean Raggett just fitted into the Football League, just as Alex Woodyard did. His step up was effortless, his qualities obvious for all to see which is why Norwich came in for him when they did.

Like most, I got a bit sick of the ‘he’s on the bench for Norwich’ saga that raged all through January, but it is only a measure of how much he impacted the side, not only this season but also last. There’s no doubt his departure hit us hard too, he left shortly before Josh Vickers got injured and I felt we lost some of the rear guard resilience that we’d built our previous success on.

Will James Wilson be an adequate replacement? Yes, over time. There will never be another Sean Raggett though, just like there will never be another Trevor Peake or Gareth McAuley. He was one of those one-off players who make everything seem so easy and even though he was here for half the season, our success is as much thanks to his efforts as anyone else.

Next page – He looked like Raggs, he left at the same time as Raggs, but he ain’t Raggs