A return to Sincil Bank for fan favourite Michael Bostwick appears to have been ruled out by Michael Appleton, as revealed by Lincolnshire Live.
Bostwick was one of several players released at the end of the season, but one of perhaps only three that fans felt might have done a job going forward along with right-back Neal Eardley and keeper Josh Vickers. At the time, Michael refused to rule out a possible return for the players should the window leave them without a club, but that appears to no longer be the case.
Speaking to Lincolnshire Live, Michael said: “I have had conversations with certain players but from what I am hearing the players that we potentially would have maybe had a discussion around coming back, I think they have got themselves fixed up.”
Many rumour sites have linked Eardley and Bostwick with moves elsewhere and whilst they haven’t materialised, fans felt there might still be a chance of a return for those players. However, as I’ve discussed on the podcast at length, I didn’t feel any would return and with recent developments, that seems to be the case.
After all, we’ve clearly paid Conor McGrandles a competitive wage for him to drop a year from his MK contract and come here. That wage would, in theory, be acceptable to a player who is over 30 and looking to remain at Lincoln. My gut feeling is that the older players we let go simply didn’t fit the profile of investments. If we offered a two-year deal on big wages to a 32-year-old, the chances of injury are higher and any money we put in, we are unlikely to get out. At Oxford, and with other successful clubs who trade players, there is an age limit on big deals and the model sustains a good level of football, For instance, look at Peterborough. As much as we dislike them as rivals of sorts, you have to admire their philosophy on dealing with players; we only ended up with Bostwick because they were unwilling to offer a big deal to an ageing player. If I recall, he went on the transfer list because he entered the last year of his deal and they wanted a return.
Yes, it is mercenary and it leads to criticism when players go on to do well, but it also sustains them in the top half on League One, year after year. That’s our aim, so we are following the model. Oxford are no bigger than us, Posh aren’t really either, not in terms of attendances, but both look to be consolidated and even successful at this level. Sadly, as we move to achieve that model, there will be some collateral damage.
What I would suggest is that Josh Vickers would have been an investment for the future as he was still a young player, plus Ellis Chapman is the sort of player we should, in my eyes, be retaining and developing. However, Peterborough got rid of Harry Anderson when he was young, again earning them money, so it isn’t always about retaining the younger players, whatever we think as fans.
I know there will be fans who see this as bad news and part of me hoped we’d see Bozzie back here before the season started, but I suppose to move forward you do have to shake the ghosts of the past. My hope is he finds a club in League Two, so we won’t have to see him back at the Bank wearing the shirt of a rival. I really hope that Gillingham’s big signing tomorrow isn’t the fearsome defender too; I’d be gutted even if I have accepted that he isn’t a part of our future.