Tomorrow is the last home game of the season, a match where there’s more at stake for the players than the fans or the team.
For us, it’s a time to get a few beers on and celebrate the achievements of the season. There have been some as well; merely starting in League One is an achievement, as demonstrated by the fact our opponents, Crewe, will not be. Sure, it’s been disappointing at times, but if the most disappointed you’ve ever been with Lincoln City is the time they finished either 17th or 18th in League One, then you have an awful lot to learn. An awful lot.
For the team as a collective, the ‘Lincoln City FC’, there’s really nothing at stake. We either finish 17th or 18th, which is as different as having magnolia or cream on your lounge walls (although my partner will not have magnolia, but apparently ‘oyster white’ and ‘subtle ivory’ is fine). The club will want bums on seats tomorrow, but nothing is won and lost. It’s the first game we’ve been able to enjoy as such since we were thrashed 3-0 by Colchester back in 2018/19. For the record, Crewe beast us 4-1 at home that season. Cool omens, bro.
There is a lot at stake for individual players, and that’s where the real interest is tomorrow. Some of the players we know we’ll be seeing for the last time: one wouldn’t expect either Brooke Norton-Cuffy or Lewis Fiorini to be here next season. However, the others might not be so clear cut. One or two may well not be due to wear red and white next season, but could well do so. On the other hand, there are some under contract who you may not see again.
Performances will be one thing, but let me tell you this. If a player, under contract and without minutes recently, doesn’t play tomorrow, then that’s a big sign of where they stand in the club. It isn’t as much about how they play; Michael will learn nothing in 90 minutes against already-relegated Crewe. It’s more about who plays. That’s right, for the first time this season, the starting XI won’t be about who doesn’t play and what that means injury-wise, it will be about who doesn’t play and what that means for their Lincoln City careers.
Here are a handful of Lincoln players whose future could be indicated by tomorrow’s 11.30 am team announcement.