We’re currently running low on news, and I’m always trying to come up with something that keeps me engaged during the slow periods.
In a moment of clarity, I decided to pick an Imps five-a-side team I think would be incredible. However, there are some rules – you can’t just pick anyone you want. There must be some skill that stops you from just going for the strongest players from a single team. So, I’ve come up with the Imps six-decade five-a-side.
You must pick a Lincoln City five-a-side team and a sub that would compete in a fantasy five-a-side tournament. However, you can only pick one player from each decade. If you want Simon Yeo, you can’t have Peter Gain or Gary Taylor-Fletcher. Sean Raggett will be fine, but it means you can’t have Gomez Dali up top. Oh, the choices.
I also haven’t picked loan players to make it a bit harder. My Lincoln City team is only consisting of players who were owned by the club.
Here’s my choice, have a think and let me know on social media what your team would be. We might even do a podcast special on it.
GK: Peter Grotier (70s)
Picking a keeper is really tough, because we’ve had some crackers. I didn’t get to see Peter Grotier play, but his reputation certainly puts him in mind for the keeper’s position. Also, because I saw so few players in the seventies, it was easier to leave out some legends, unlike later years where I had to make some tough choices.
DF: Paul Morgan (00s)
Imagine having to choose between Richard Butcher, Peter Gain and Gary Taylor-Fletcher. How could you? Well, you could ignore them all, for arguably the best central defender I’ve seen play for the Imps.
Paul Morgan would be awesome in a five-a-side team because his awareness and speed over short distances were great. He could tackle, he could organise and had he been six two or six three, I think teams in the Championship would have signed him. How we kept him for so long, I’ll never know.
MF: Liam Bridcutt (20s)
I’m playing the famous 1-1-2 formation in my five-a-side team because I know that Paul Morgan and this man, Liam Bridcutt, could cover any threat. We’ve already had some great players this decade, and if I were doing this in 12 months, I’m sure I’d be picking our existing holding midfielder.
In my lifetime, I’ve seen some wonderful midfield players at Lincoln, from John Finnigan to Dean Keates, Richard Butcher to Lee Frecklington, and Michael O’Connor also deserves a mention, but I’m utterly convinced this man was the best we’ve had in my Imps lifetime. His class oozed through; hopefully, his fitness would allow short bursts in small-sided games.
FW: Gordon Hobson (80s)
Picking forwards was hard. Picking anyone from the eighties, a decade that had Colin Murphy’s original heroes, and the legendary GMVC-winning team, was hard. However, Gordon Hobson was one of my earliest heroes for coming back in 1988, and he was one of my Grandad’s last heroes, presenting him with a ball when he retired, just a few short months before he passed away.
Hobson isn’t here on sentiment, though – he played top-flight football, scored and created goals, and if he were here today in his prime, he’d also be a big player for Mark Kennedy. He is Mr Eighties in my six-decade five-a-aside.
FW: Gareth Ainsworth (90s)
Seriously, was there ever going to be anyone else? We had some good players in the nineties, but there were none to touch Sir Gareth. I dare wager that more than 50% of the people who try to pick their team spanning six decades on social media will have him up top.
SUB: Michael Bostwick (10s)
I’ve picked five players and realised I haven’t included a single one from the most successful three seasons in our history, 2016/17 to 2018/19. That’s a travesty, but would you have Matt Rhead or John Akinde over Hobson or Ainsworth? Danny’s teams were never about individuals, they were collections of 11 players who fought for everything as a group. Also, the bigger names who might have been chosen were full-backs (Toffolo) and wingers (Anderson), players it’s tough to fit into a five-a-side.
Mind you, imagine looking to get a bit of presence on the field and having this man on the bench. He could replace Morgan or Bridcutt with ease. He’s perhaps my surprising pick from the tens. It was a toss-up between him and Gary Mills….