23-Year-Old Is Imps Sixth Summer Signing

Credit Chris Vaughan / Lincoln City

The Imps have completed the signing of promising young goalkeeper Zach Jeacock on a two-year deal, with an option for a further year.

The towering goalkeeper is a free agent, having left Birmingham City earlier this year. He joined the Midlands club when he was eight, penning his first senior deal in May 2019.

The 23-year-old made four first-team appearances in the Championship for the Midlands side, even keeping a clean sheet on his ‘dream‘ debut against Brentford. However, the following season, he was between the sticks as the hapless Blues were thrashed 6-1 by Blackpool. He wasn’t to blame for that defeat, one that Lee Bowyer called his ‘worst day in football’, but it was his final appearance for his club.

As with many young keepers, further first-team experience came through loans. He spent time at Stourbridge Swifts, Gloucester City, and Salford City – making four appearances in League Two and the Papa Johns Trophy for the latter.

He becomes the second keeper to join the Imps this summer, following their capture of Jamie Pardington.

“I’m really happy to get the deal done. If you look at this club’s track record over the last couple of seasons, the goalkeepers who have played here have gone on to do really well,” said Jeacock.

“Lukas had a very good year last season, so for developing goalkeepers, I see this club as one of the best throughout the leagues.”

Imps Director of Football, Jez George, admitted that Jeacock will head out on loan next season to get some games, coming in as the third choice behind Lukas Jensen and Pardington.

“We have signed Zach because we see him as a potential future No.1 goalkeeper,” he said. “He has a really good pedigree, played for England U19s and made his debut for Birmingham City in the Championship at just 19. Having left there in January, he trained with us for a week last season and impressed goalkeeping coach Scott Fry with his ability, mentality and potential.”

“Zach will train with us throughout pre-season and then we will find a loan that can provide him with a platform to play 40+ games at the best possible level. He is really talented, a great character and showed a real desire to sign for us ahead of other interest.

“In Jamie and Zach we feel as though we have two fantastic young goalkeepers who fit our profile and will push each other to ensure the long-term goalkeeping position is in good hands.”

In addition to his loan spells, he has also represented his country. England capped him at Under 19 level, appearing against Greece and Belgium.

It does mean that we currently have four keepers on our books, so news is expected on one of those imminently, as only one (Pardington) will likely play back up to Lukas, and we already know Jeacock will go out on loan.

As to where that might be, I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t look to the National League for Jeacock. Boston would be the obvious choice, but their handling of Sam Long didn’t feel entirely fair, so that might rule out our local rivals. However, if we’re hoping for him to challenge for the top spot next season, I’d be surprised at a loan below that level.