Two former Lincoln City players were spotted on trial with Danny Cowley’s Portsmouth this afternoon.
Our former manager is well known for working with players he has known previously, so there was little surprise in seeing a couple of familiar faces in their ranks as they faced Havant & Waterlooville at Westleigh Park. Pompey won the game 5-2, with former Norwich striker Gassan Ahadme impressing. It isn’t clear how the former Imps pair did, but one could be a controversial figure if he were to earn a deal, whilst the other is something of a favourite here at Sincil Bank, even now.
Jake Hesketh is the first player Danny is having a look at. it was Danny that signed Jake for the Imps back in the summer of 2019, bringing him in on loan from Southampton. He didn’t make an appearance under our former boss though, instead getting his debut in Michael Appleton’s first match in charge at Sincil Bank, the 1-0 defeat to Manchester United U18s in the EFL Trophy. The 25-year-old then made his first league appearance for City in Michael’s first home win, 2-0 against Sunderland.
I confess, Jake didn’t impress me during his loan. He did score a goal, a late one against Ipswich as we beat them 5-3, but I felt at times he played when we might have given minutes to Jack Payne instead. In the end, there was never any question of us going back in for him and he ended up at Crawley on loan last season. That wasn’t a huge success either, he started just 11 League Two matches before returning to Southampton to be released.
The other player on trial with Pompey is one I’m sure we’d all love to see get a contract: Sam Habergham. Sam was one of the stars of the 2016/17 season, scoring a memorable free-kick in the 2-1 victory against Torquay which helped us to the Football League. He played through the pain barrier for much of that campaign though, and as soon as promotion was assured he was treated for the problems. sadly, he started the following season injured, and despite appearing 40 times in all competitions, including the EFL Trophy Final, he persistently struggled with injuries. His last game for City came on 21st April 2018, although he was a familiar sight around the club during his rehabilitation. In total, Sam appeared more than 90 times for the Imps, scoring four goals, three of which were free-kicks.
Many thought Sam had retired from football, such was his lengthy spell out, but instead he got back to fitness and signed for Grimsby on a short-term deal last season. He played 13 times for the Mariners, starting ten matches, but left as they were relegated from the Football League. I don’t think there’s an Imp out there who wouldn’t love to see Sam back in the game with Pompey.