February 12, 2022 7.00 am

“Future Lincoln City number nine” joins Gainsborough on loan

The club has high hopes for Freddie Draper

Lincoln City academy prospect Freddie Draper has been sent out on loan to Gainsborough Trinity until the end of the season.

The 17-year-old striker hit the headlines when he was brought into the first team for his professional debut against Sheffield Wednesday in October, after an injury crisis in the Imps’ squad.

Draper, who only signed his first professional contract with the Imps on his 17th birthday in July 2021, has gone on to make eight appearances in League One this season, and will now be heading to Gainsborough Trinity to gain some more experience.

Chances in the Lincoln squad were set to be few and far between for Freddie given the January recruitment by Michael Appleton, bringing in a host of forward options, including Morgan Whittaker, Liam Cullen, John Marquis and Ben House.

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Imps director of football Jez George said: “This is a sensible, short-term solution to get a Freddie a consistent run of games between now and the end of the season.

“Obviously our partnership with Gainsborough, the fact that Tom Shaw is their head coach, a figure who Freddie sees on the training ground at Lincoln everyday, plays a massive part in that decision.

“Freddie knows how highly we rate him, and how we see him as a future Lincoln City number nine, but in the short term his opportunities will be limited with the first team so this makes total sense.”