18-Year-Old Prospect Departs Sincil Bank

Credit Graham Burrell

The Imps young stopper Sam Long has today joined Gainsborough Trinity on a short-term loan deal.

The 18-year-old has recently made his first-team debut, appearing in the EFL Trophy victory against Manchester United Under 21s. He has played twice more in the competition, and will now head to the Northolme to get his first taste of senior football. Sam signed his first professional deal with the club a year ago and was regular understudy to Alex Palmer last season.

“As we’ve said previously, we always intended Sam to go out on loan this season so that he can experience men’s football and play regularly,” said Jez George, the Imps Director of Football.

“It was fantastic for Sam to make his first-team debut, play in all three of this season’s Papa John’s Trophy group matches and experience the first team matchday environment over the past 10 months, but now that Archie Mair has joined us on loan from Norwich it enables Sam to get a run of games at a challenging level.

Credit Graham Burrell

“We will review the arrangement in January and then decide what is best for Sam’s ongoing development for the remainder of the season.”

Gainsborough play in the Northern Premier League, which is the same level as the Imps’ FA Cup First Round opponents, Bowers and Pitsea. They’re currently 16th in the table after a difficult start for Tom Shaw, their manager and Imps youth team coach. However, they’re undefeated since September 14th, having recently drawn with Stafford (0-0), Buxton (0-0), Radcliffe Borough (1-1) and Ashton United (1-1), as well as winning 2-0 at Lancaster City.

Long joins former Imp Gianluca Bucci at the Holy Blues, along with Billy Brooks, Jovon Makama and Hayden Cann. In recent weeks, none of those players have appeared for the team, although both Cann and Brooks do have appearances under their belts.