Lincoln City are 90 minutes away from a peak they haven’t seen for seven decades, and we are taking a look at the heroic players and team mates that have got the club to Wembley and the play-off final.
The Imps are preparing for the biggest game in recent history for the club, the League One play-off final against Blackpool, held at Wembley Stadium on Sunday and kicking off at 3pm.
Lincoln City beat Sunderland in the play-off semi final after finishing 5th in the table, despite many predicting the Imps for a mid table finish.
The players and coaching staff have worked wonders this season, here’s a brief profile on each of the squad that have taken us fans on this mesmerising journey.
Manager – Michael Appleton
Where better to start than the boss, Michael Appleton. His brand of fast, attacking football has been a breath of fresh air for League One this season, and regardless of the result on Sunday, Lincoln City owe him a huge thank you.
Assistant Manager – David Kerslake
Michael Appleton’s assistant has huge experience as a football coach, having been an assistant at the likes of Cardiff City, Watford and Nottingham Forest. He’s been a key part of the Imps’ success this season.
Alex Palmer – Goalkeeper
The West Brom loanee, 24, has made an incredible 57 appearances this season and is highly rated at his parent club. At Lincoln he has developed into one of the best goalkeepers at League One level.
Sam Long – Goalkeeper
The youth academy prospect is yet to play for Lincoln City this season, but will be on the bench at Wembley in case anything happens to Alex Palmer.
Regan Poole – Right Back
The January arrival from MK Dons took a bit of time to solidify his place in the Imps’ side, but he has not looked back and is becoming an important player for Michael Appleton.
Joe Walsh – Centre Back
Often regarded as the best central defender at the club, Joe Walsh has had a torrid time with injuries this season, playing just 24 times all campaign. He will be fit for Wembley, though, which is a huge boost.
TJ Eyoma – Centre Back
Often utilised as a right back, Tottenham loanee TJ Eyoma has found himself a new home at centre back to cover for the injuries Lincoln have faced in that position, and is starting to look undroppable in that role. Such a shame that he will be going back to Spurs after this match.
Lewis Montsma – Centre Back
The defensive goal machine. Lewis Montsma arrived as an unknown from the Dutch second division, but his nine goals in all competitions, including one against last season’s Premier League champions Liverpool, have made people take notice.
Adam Jackson – Centre Back
The 27-year-old has been a rock at the back for Lincoln since arriving from Scottish side Hibernian last summer. Jackson has made 27 League One appearances this season, scoring once against Oxford on his league debut.
Tayo Edun – Left Back
Not many have played more games than Tayo Edun this season, and the majority of his 53 matches have been in the left back position. He has excelled there at times and looks a real asset to this Imps squad.
Cohen Bramall – Left Back
The 25-year-old joined from Colchester on deadline day in January, and has gone on to make 18 appearances for Lincoln. He will likely start on the bench at Wembley.
Liam Bridcutt – Defensive Midfielder
The experienced club captain is such an important player for the Imps, offering a wise head in midfield for a young squad to learn from. When he plays well, so do Lincoln.
James Jones – Central Midfielder
Someone that started the season as irreplaceable, James Jones still plays a key role for Lincoln’s squad, and has over 40 appearances to his name to prove it. He will probably be among the subs on Sunday.
Conor McGrandles – Central Midfielder
One of the best players in an Imps shirt this season, Conor McGrandles has brought energy and composure in abundance during his 50 appearances this season. He should start at Wembley, especially after his performance off the bench against Sunderland.
Jorge Grant – Central Midfielder
The beating heart and talisman. Jorge Grant was winning games on his own at times in League One this season. The 26-year-old won the club’s player of the year award thanks to his 17 goals in all competitions. There’s no doubt he plays.
Max Sanders – Central Midfielder
It’s not been the easiest start for Max Sanders since he joined from Brighton in January, starting just one league game so far. Injuries have held him back, but he will be looking to kickstart his Lincoln career at Wembley.
Harry Anderson – Right Winger
The term legend is used far too often in modern football, but Harry Anderson truly is a Lincoln City legend. He’s made over 200 appearances for the club since Danny Cowley signed him in 2016, and he’ll be hoping to cement his legacy with yet another promotion.
Anthony Scully – Forward
Anthony Scully’s breakthrough season has been a joy to behold. The dynamic forward is Lincoln City’s co-top scorer alongside Jorge Grant with 17 goals, but he may have to settle for the bench at Wembley.
Brennan Johnson – Forward
Brennan Johnson has the aurora of a superstar. The teenage forward has played in a whole host of positions during his loan spell at Lincoln this season and excelled in all of them, reaching double figures for goals and assists. I can assure you, this will be his last game for the club before he lights up the Championship with Nottingham Forest.
Morgan Rogers – Forward
It’s hard to believe the Manchester City loanee is only 18-years-old considering how well he’s taken to life in League One. Six goals since arriving in January have helped Lincoln get to this point, could his parting gift be promotion?
Tom Hopper – Striker
A real fan favourite, Tom Hopper is a rare breed of selfless striker; someone who would run through walls for his team. He’s chipped in with 11 goals this season, none bigger than his two massive strikes in the play-off semi finals to get Lincoln to Wembley in the first place.
Callum Morton – Striker
The young striker started well during his loan spell from West Brom, but a horror injury ruled him out for over five months and he’s been getting up to speed ever since. He is a brilliant poacher and could be vital off the bench if we need a goal.
Likely lineup: (433) Palmer, Poole, Eyoma, Walsh, Edun, Bridcutt, Grant, McGrandles, Johnson, Rogers, Hopper
Likely bench: Long, Bramall, Montsma, Jones, Sanders, Scully, Morton