The Lincolnite people of the year: Danny & Nicky Cowley

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When brothers Danny and Nicky Cowley were unveiled as Lincoln City’s new management team in May 2016, few could have expected the success and the footballing love that the duo have brought to the city.

The Imps had endured some tough years after relegation from the Football League in 2011, but the Cowleys arrived at Sincil Bank with good credentials after having led Braintee to the National League play-off final.

Although they have now only been with Imps for around two and a half years, it feels like they have been around forever with the duo being much loved figures in the city.

The 2017/18 campaign was a special one for the club, but this year is also looking excellent with the Imps being in and around the top of the league for most of the opening five months of the season.

Memorable moments

Danny Cowley pictured with the FA Cup at the training facility. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Magic of the FA Cup

Lincoln became the first non-league side in over 100 years to reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup in the 2016/17 season.

During that fantastic cup run the Imps beat the likes of Championship sides Ipswich and Brighton before getting the better of Premier League outfit Burnley. The historic cup run came to an end after a 5-0 defeat at Arsenal, but the club did the city proud and what journey it was!

Football League return

Not only did the Imps enjoy the fantastic cup run, but they also secured a return to the Football League after seven wins on the bounce culminated with promotion at Sincil Bank against Macclesfield. That season also saw Lincoln lift the National League title after finishing top of the table.

Imps manager Danny Cowley and assistant manager Nicky Cowley.

Civic Award

In April Danny and Nicky Cowley were named as winners of the 2018 Lincoln Civic Award, which was presented to them at a private ceremony in the city’s Guildhall on April 12.

Wembley trophy and play-offs

The Cowleys exceeded the expectations of some after guiding Lincoln to a seventh-placed finish in the club’s first season back in the Football League.

Although the league season ended in play-off heartache after defeat over two legs against Exeter, the 2017/18 season was definitely still one to remember after a historic Wembley triumph.

Elliott Whitehouse was the hero in April 2018 as underdogs Lincoln City lifted the Checkatrade Trophy with a 1-0 victory over Shrewsbury in their first trip to Wembley in 133 years.

Lincoln City celebrating on the pitch after beating Shrewsbury in April’s Checkatrade Trophy final at Wembley earlier this month. Photo: Sharon Keeton

Onwards and upwards

Lincoln City have been in and around the top of the League Two table for much of this season and certainly look good odds as one of the promotion favourites.

Not only that, but after beating Northampton and Carlisle in this year’s FA Cup, the Imps secured an exciting third round tie against Premier League side Everton.

This year also saw the club offering a first glimpse inside their new £1.3 million Soper of Lincoln Elite Performance Centre in November.

Danny Cowley inside the new training facility. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The Cowleys have definitely brought a massive wave of positivity back to Sincil Bank.

It is also refreshing to see that, despite being linked with jobs in higher divisions, the Cowley brothers always seem 100% committed to the club. Not that other managers don’t, but with the amount of managerial changes that go on in the Football League, seeing the Cowleys stay put is amazing.

The Cowleys were originally contracted to the League Two club until the summer of 2021, but in April the club announced the duo will now stay until 2022 after putting pen to paper for a further year.

Let’s hope they’re here to stay.