Sean Long today signed a two-year deal with fellow League Two side Cheltenham, as expected for a few weeks now.
Long has to be one of the unluckiest men ever to wear red and white stripes at Sincil Bank. He came in on loan as cover for a real fan favourites, saw our regular right back shoot himself in the foot and then, after finally being awarded the number two shirt, saw a Premier League quality player arrive and take his place.
Through no fault of his own he’s been marginalised at the Bank and there’s no way he would have been satisfied with another season on the bench. The move works well for both parties, City because it frees up a squad place and Cheltenham because they’re getting a very good right back. He’s just not as good as Neal Eardley, but few right backs in this division are, if any.
Sean is a young player with a career stretching out in front of him, a career that could be severely damaged by spending too much time in League two reserve sides. it might not even be bad if we had a second string, but we don’t. His game time would always be limited to the EFL trophy group games and the odd spell covering for Eardley in the event of injury.
I don’t even envisage we’ll be buying in another right back either. Danny stresses that he only brings in players to improve a position and you can’t possibly sign a player better than Neal. Therefore, my instinct is that we’ll have James Wilson as our right back cover, should we need it. He played there a couple of times last season, not entirely convincingly, but he still has the potential to fill the role. With Toffolo and Habergham on the left, that is still more cover than we had last season.
If anything, the extra squad place will go to a centre back. Michael Bostwick, James Wilson and Luke waterfall are our current offering and I can imagine another coming in, either on loan or permanently, Left sided? Maybe, but if we are going to play a flat back four it isn’t as crucial. If, as some suggest, we’re going to three at the back with wing-backs, then maybe a left-sided centre half is more important.
Whichever way we go with it, the fact doesn’t change that a solid National League winning player has left the club, a popular character at that. The Stacey West wishes Sean loads of luck with his new club, which echoed much of the feedback on Twitter too.
Good luck Longy. Thought you was brilliant at Sincil Bank. You deserve first team game time. Cheltenham are lucky to have you.
— Simon Butler 🎧 (@Hackett123) June 26, 2018
Good luck fella. Thought you were unlucky last year not to breakthrough more often, especially after your brilliant overlaps down the right in the first part of the season
— Mark Churchill (@church197) June 26, 2018
Another who needed to go to play 1st team football good luck Longy
— Andy Waby (@andywaby64) June 26, 2018
Gutted but the lad deserves first team footie, best of luck @Longyy32 cheers for the memories 👏🏻
— Rob Beezley (@Robbeezley) June 26, 2018