Ireland Under 21 Pens Two-Year Imps Deal

Credit Graham Burrell

This evening, I decided to go for a lie down at just before five, and typically, a moment later, the head’s up arrived for Sean Roughan penning his new deal.

Firstly, I’m utterly thrilled. I wrote a piece earlier this month suggesting the best place for him to continue his development would be at Sincil Bank, and I meant it. I felt that he might be on the verge of leaving the club, but either outcome was a win for City. It was either a chunky fee, or we kept one of our most promising young players. The truth is, him staying is a bigger win for us than him going.

Firstly, the news. He’s penned a two-year deal, which means if his contract runs down again, he still can’t go for free – he’ll be 22, and we’ll get a bigger fee than we would have this time out. That’s significant given that perhaps the inclination would have been to offer a three-year deal and good business by the club. Also, the news describes Sean as a ’20-year-old centre-back‘ – crucial again.

Credit Graham Burrell

“I’m very pleased to sign a new deal, to continue my journey here and develop further as a player,” said the Ireland Under 21 defender.  “The head coach and backroom put faith in me to play in 30-plus games last season, and I’ve only just turned 20, so still have time on my side – this is the best place to continue my development.”

Wise words. I like how he says he has time on his side. If he’s going to ‘make it’ (one might say being a sought-after 20-year-old playing League One football is already making it), playing regular games in a comfortable environment is the place to do it.

City head coach Mark Kennedy added: “We are pleased Sean has signed a new contract so that he can continue his development at Lincoln City. We are proud that he played so many minutes in League One last season as a teenager who has come through our Academy while also establishing himself in the Republic of Ireland U21 team. We now want and expect him to kick on even more this season.”

Credit Graham Burrell

Nothing revealing there, apart from the ‘want and expect him to kick on even more’ – a teenager playing more than 30 games is a big thing at this level, so to kick on even more, the only inference is 40-plus games. That means the first team, and, in my eyes, that means one thing – central defence.

Yep. I think Sean Roughan is finally going to become the left-sided centre-back he prefers. He’s spoken of being a centre-back; his physique and play style suit centre-back, especially the three rather than a two, and with Walsh and Poole going, there’s absolute scope for him to make the position on the left side of the three his own. Sure, he can operate on the left flank in an injury crisis, but I think we’ll be dragging a wing-back in from elsewhere.

This is a great way to end the week, and hopefully, it keeps the ‘dO a SiGniNg’ mob happy as the lads jet off to Spain. Getting Sean Roughan on a two-year deal is as good as a new recruit. He’s young, he’s talented, and he’s clearly developing. He was a regular in our team last season, and we should be proud of his ascension from the Academy into the first team. I think the sky is the limit for Sean if he keeps working hard and get regular football, and with the talent he’s already shown, I believe he can do that.

Credit Graham Burrell

Honestly, I’ve just edited this and put the pictures in, and I can’t overstate how happy I am at this news. I remember the likes of Matt Carbon, Ben Dixon, Hucks, even Freck coming through the ranks and outgrowing the club, but for the first time in my life, I genuinely feel we’re in a place where we have a real prospect of keeping our talent and selling them for proper money when it suits us.

Have a great weekend.