Lincoln City players hosted a meet and greet at the club shop in the city, building anticipation ahead of the new season.

Hundreds of eager Imps fans, young and old, were queuing inside the Waterside Shopping Centre for a chance to meet some of their favourite players on Thursday.

Representatives from both the men’s and women’s team were in attendance, and everyone was in great spirits ahead of the opening fixture of the 2021/22 season this weekend.

Jody Steadman, Katy Thornley and Toni McHamilton from Lincoln City Women were taking pictures with fans. | Photo: Ellis Karran for The Lincolnite

From the men’s team, Cohen Bramall, Liam Bridcutt, Anthony Scully, Lewis Fiorini, Lasse Sorensen, Regan Poole and Tom Hopper were signing autographs and posing for pictures, while Jody Steadman, Katy Thornley and Toni McHamilton were there from the women’s side.

A young fan getting his shirt signed by Lewis Fiorini. | Photo: Ellis Karran for The Lincolnite

The Imps kick their League One campaign off this Saturday with an away trip to Gillingham, looking to go one better than last season, where they narrowly missed out on promotion via the play-offs with Wembley defeat to Blackpool.

Great to see players reconnecting with the fans again after so long apart. | Photo: Ellis Karran for The Lincolnite

It was the supporters’ first chance to meet new signings Lasse Sorensen and Lewis Fiorini before they take to the field for their competitive debuts in Imps shirts.

The meet and greet took place inside the Lincoln City club shop at the Waterside Shopping Centre. | Photo: Ellis Karran for The Lincolnite

The event was run with COVID-secure protocols, such as encouraging the wearing of face coverings and maintaining a social distance where possible, in order to protect both the fans and the players.

Give us a smile! Tom Hopper and Regan Poole, key figures in last season’s success, were welcoming fans at the club shop on Thursday. | Photo: Ellis Karran for The Lincolnite

Some fans were a bit shy when they came face to face with their heroes! | Photo: Ellis Karran for The Lincolnite

Lincoln City have revealed their squad numbers for the upcoming 2021/22 League One campaign, and it is new signing Chris Maguire who has been given the coveted number 10 shirt that was held by Jorge Grant before leaving the club.

Loan signing Josh Griffiths has followed in fellow West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Alex Palmer’s shoes by taking the number 1 shirt at the Imps, while new midfielders Ted Bishop and Lasse Sorensen have been given the numbers 12 and 21 respectively.

Two more loan signings, Lewis Fiorini from Manchester City and Dan Nlundulu from Southampton, will wear the 19 and 20 shirts for Lincoln City this season, while winger Hakeeb Adelakun will have number 14.

Dan Nlundulu will wear the number 20 during his season-long loan at the LNER Stadium. | Photo: Lincoln City FC

The number 10 shirt, famously held by Jorge Grant last season before he left for the Championship and Peterborough United, will now be worn by summer signing Chris Maguire, who joined the club on a free transfer after his contract expiry at Sunderland.

It is much of the same for the rest of the squad, with Tom Hopper still holding onto the number 9 jersey, Tayo Edun donning number 7 and Lewis Montsma keeping number 4.

Cohen Bramall remains Lincoln City’s number 15. | Photo: Lincoln City FC

Recent academy graduates Jovon Makama and Freddie Draper’s hard work in the youth system has been rewarded with pro contracts for the season, and they will wear the numbers 32 and 34.

As well as this, winner of the Imps Ultimate Raffle, supporter Ben Vickers, had his dreams come true as he was given the squad number of 84 for this season, in honour of the club’s founding year of 1884.

The full list is:

1. Josh Griffiths (GK)
2. Regan Poole
3. Max Melbourne
4. Lewis Montsma
5. Adam Jackson
6. Max Sanders
7. Tayo Edun
8. James Jones
9. Tom Hopper
10. Chris Maguire
11. Anthony Scully
12. Ted Bishop
14. Hakeeb Adelakun
15. Cohen Bramall
16. Joe Walsh
17. Remy Longdon
18. Conor McGrandles
19. Lewis Fiorini
20. Dan Nlundulu
21. Lasse Sørensen
23. Liam Bridcutt
30. Sean Roughan
31. Sam Long (GK)
32. Jovon Makama
33. Hayden Cann
34. Freddie Draper
84. Ben Vickers

Team GB and Shona McCallin’s quest to retain the Olympic gold medal in the women’s hockey event has come to an end, after a 5-1 defeat to the Netherlands in the semi-final.

The reigning champions from Rio 2016 were searching for Olympic glory once again in Tokyo, but missed out on a place in the gold medal match after the Netherlands beat GB comfortably on Wednesday morning.

Shona McCallin from Newark was one of the gold medalists from the last games, but the 26-year-old could not help guide the team to the final this year.

All medal hopes are not yet lost for Team GB, however, as they will now prepare for a bronze medal match against either Argentina or India on Friday.

The match was seen as revenge for the Dutch, who were beaten in a penalty shootout in the gold medal match against Team GB in Rio five years ago, and they will now face the winner of the other semi-final for their chance at gold.

The Netherlands are the number one ranked hockey team in the world, and they showed all their quality as they swept aside the 2016 Olympic champions.

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