Alex Woodyard left Lincoln City yesterday looking for fame and fortune at a higher level. Had we been promoted, I have little doubt he would have stayed. Instead, he’s gone and we reluctantly have to move on.
Inevitably though, his career will be tracked by many on social media, always making reference to him being on the bench, being dropped or even worse, left out completely. Given his talent, that shouldn’t happen, but given the manager he’s working for, you never know. After all, Steve Evans isn’t known for loving his players, not even a little bit.
Recently, quite a few players have left City looking for a better life in a higher division, or even in the same division, and few have come off well.
Jonny Margetts was the first, within a few months of joining City he was on the radar of Scunthorpe United. It was speculated he was never really wanted by the manager, but chairman Peter Swann coveted the striker. Some say it was because he knew him from Gainsborough Trinity, others say it was a malice buy, a show of strength in the battle to be Lincolnshire’s top team. Whatever the case, Margetts left for the bright lights of League One after a handful of appearances and that four-goal haul against Southport to his name.
He played seven time for Lincoln in just a month. August 2016 saw him move to Iron and since then he’s played five matches, all as a sub, scoring once in the EFL Trophy. He suffered an injury, but never got close to the first team and was recently released. He made more starts on his short return to City on loan, but his season on the bench saw a relatively unfit player stumble through four end of season games. His likely destination will be National League or below this summer.
Theo Robinson was another who fancied a stab at a higher division, although to be fair to Theo he never hid that fact. He played 19 times for us and scored six goals, five of which came under the FA Cup spotlight. Was he a show pony, putting on a performance when he knew the world was watching? Not for me, but some did note his improved performances in the FA Cup. He was another deadline day departure, another who got a League One call and couldn’t wait to make the switch. again, but how could you bear him any malice? He was on a week to week contract and wanted to be in the shop window.
Since his January 2017 move he has scored seven league goals for Southend, but of his 43 league appearances, 33 have come from the bench. Did he ‘make it’ after his move? He got more game time than Margetts but it could be argued he hasn’t really thrived at Roots Hall. He was linked with us in January too, just like Margetts it seemed a move back to Lincoln was in his heart. Both jumped ship and, if the speculation is to be believed, both regretted it.
What about Sean Raggett? He doesn’t quite fall into the same category, Raggs was a fine servant to this club and earned his move fair and square, just like Alex did. His loan spell back here helped us establish ourselves as a Football League club and his return to Norwich was meant to be the next step on the ladder. However, speaking to a Norwich fan the other week I asked how h thought Sean Raggett was getting on. The answer I got was ‘who is that?’
His game time has been limited to say the least, two brief appearances in the league, one of which came as the Canaries were thrashed 5-1 on the final day of the season. He’s a Championship player so has gone one step further than Alex has, but his progress has stalled. He’s younger than Alex and arguably has a bit more potential, but that green grass of Carrow Road has yet to see much of our National League hero. What price on another loan spell this season? Maybe not at Lincoln, but I wouldn’t mind betting Peterborough are paying close attention.
CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE