Young Imps Duo Head To Ireland

Credit Graham Burrell

Imps youngsters Freddie Draper and Elicha Ahui have signed for Irish Premier Division side Drogheda United on loan for their upcoming 2023 campaign.

Last season, Sean Roughan and Sam Long made the trip, with the former coming back energised from his stint there. Now, we’re hoping to see Freddie among the goals and Elicha continuing the development that saw him make his first team debut earlier in the season. He made a big impact in City’s victory over the young Magpies, claiming the man of the match award on his senior debut for the Imps.

Freddie is a big hope for the club, but he’s seen his development stunted with niggly injuries and a short loan spell at Gainsborough, which didn’t bring him a huge amount of success. It seems the club are keen to get him playing regular senior football as he looks to add to his first senior goal, which also came in the game against Newcastle kids. In theory, he should be better equipped for his spell in Ireland, having played regularly for the first team during the injury crisis of late 2021 and early 2022.

Credit Graham Burrell

The duo will now join the Drogs until the start of City’s pre-season this summer, before their season starts on February 17th against Shelbourne. After that, there’s the small matter of champions Shamrock Rovers.

”This will be fantastic for their development,” 

Imps director of football Jez George (with a ‘J’) said. “We know the league, we know the club, we trust the staff, and we look forward to seeing them tested at a really good level.

“We really value our relationship with Drogheda, but Freddie and Elicha really have Sean and Sam to thank for the way they performed and conducted themselves on and off the pitch last season, to have paved the way for them to have a similar opportunity.”

Obviously, we want to see our young players given game time at our club, but with no cup matches left, it’s unlikely Freddie, Elicha, and Charley Kendall would have had those opportunities. With Sam Long departing on loan as well, it seems we’re keen to give some of our young players senior experience, although I strongly suspect we may keep Jovon around the first team, as I understand his progress has impressed the coaching team since his return from Brackley.