Here’s a round-up of the latest Imps news we’ve not covered on here already, just in case you don’t follow some of the other news outlets.
Stoke friendly announced
The Imps first big friendly of the summer has been announced, with Stoke City set to visit Sincil Bank in the summer.
It’s a dream game for Matt Rhead, he’s a former Potters season ticket holder and he’ll relish the chance to get to play against his boyhood heroes. I say ‘boyhood’, he’ll be back in the stands watching them when his career finishes and will always be a fan of Nathan Jones side.
It’s a great friendly to kick us off and it signals the intention of Danny to once again ensure we’re challenged in the summer. Last season we welcomed Blackburn, Norwich and Sheffield Wednesday in high-profile fixtures, all of which set us up for the title-winning season.
Don’t expect to see many token home fixtures against non-league clubs as we once again look to test ourselves against teams from a higher level.
Jason Shackell Charged
Jason Shackell has been charged by the FA after confronting Seb Stockbridge during our defeat at Carlisle.
Shackell was rightly sent off for two yellow cards during that fixture and was involved in a confrontation with Stockbridge, who was fourth official for the day.
He’s been charged with improper conduct and had until 6pm Friday to respond.
Family Excellence awarded
As revealed exclusively by Liam Scully on our podcast last week, the club have attained the Family Excellence standard for the first time since returning to the Football League.
The award recognises continuous improvement and best practice in family engagement across the leagues and is judged by two ‘mystery shopper’ style visits to the club during the season.
Marketing Manager Jake Longworth was delighted to see the hard work pay off.
“We are really pleased to achieve the Family Excellence Award this season,” he told the club’s official site. “As a club, we realise how important the family experience is on a match day and we are constantly looking for ways to improve in the University of Lincoln Fanzone and family area.
“While we are proud to accept this award, the hard work and dedication of the staff doesn’t stop here. We’ll continue to work as hard as possible to give all supporters visiting Sincil Bank the best experience we possibly can into next season and beyond.”
Danny to scour non-league scene once again
After the success of Bruno Andrade this season, manager Danny Cowley has vowed to scour the non-league scene once more for exciting young talent.
Speaking to the Lincolnshire Echo, Cowley revealed that he won’t be shopping in the Championship this summer and that he’s hoping to strike gold in the National League, just as he did with Andrade in the summer.
“You’ve only got to look at the players we’ve taken from the National League,” he said.
“They’ve played a huge part in the journey we’ve been on. Alex Woodyard, Sean Raggett and, more recently, Bruno Andrade have all come from non-league. There are some really good players there and that’s something we’re looking at.
“We won’t be looking in the Championship market. We’ll be looking to try to unearth some young players who have earned the right to have an opportunity to play at this level of football.
“The great thing about players on the way up is that they come with a real desire, hunger and willingness to learn – and that sits well with us.”