Dayle Southwell joins Lincoln on loan

Lincoln City have signed Wycombe Wanderers striker Dayle Southwell on loan.

Southwell has joined on a months loan and will be available for the FA Cup 5th Round match against Premier League side Burnley.

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Southwell scoring for Wycombe during pre-season

Southwell was a target for Danny Cowley in the summer and very nearly joined the Imps on a permanent basis before singing for League One side Wycombe.

Southwell began his career at rivals Grimsby Town, where he made over 40 appearances and enjoyed a loan spell at Harrogate Town.

Southwell then went on to join Boston United, in his first season Southwell made 42 starts and scored 30 gaols in all competitions. In his second season Southwell was hit by a serious injury which kept him out for over two months, however Southwell still managed to finish the season with 24 goals and win the National League North Golden Boot and Boston’s Player of the Season 2015/16.

This fine form secured Southwell a move into the football league with Wycombe, where he has made 8 appearances and managed to score his first goal.

Southwell has joined the Imps on loan to sharpen his match fitness after recovering from a recent injury. Southwell will wear the number 31 shirt recently vacated by Theo Robinson who left on deadline day for Southend United.

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Theo Robinson during his time at Lincoln

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The FA Cup: What can it do for Lincoln City?

The FA Cup is a competition with a tremendous amount of history and this year the team I support, Lincoln City, have made it to the second round and have been drawn to host Oldham and the game has been chosen to be televised.

The Imps unbeaten in 10 games have four league matches before the FA cup tie, and one of those four matches is against top of the league and Lincoln’s biggest challengers this season Forest Green Rovers, a game which Lincoln can not afford to lose if they want to continue the chase on the current leaders.

Oldham only have three matches before the cup tie but unlike Lincoln Oldham are struggling for form this season and find themselves 22nd in League One.

Due to The Latics poor form this season and  with the game being played at Sincil Bank, where Lincoln have only lost twice this season, Lincoln fans are optimistic ahead of the game and can see The Imps beating the League One opposition.

One fan, Gary Hutchinson believes The Imps have a real chance but admits that Lincoln must remember they will bring a playing style different to our regular opponents.

“I think we have a decent chance against Oldham. They’re struggling but they’re League One and that shouldn’t be under estimated. We’re a good side, but they’ll offer something very different to anyone we’ve faced this season. However we’re ten unbeaten and if we keep that run going until we meet them it might just be enough to help us deliver an upset.”

With the game being at home and televised on BT Sport for a club like Lincoln the financial boost is a massive advantage for the club. This fixture will generate at least £70,000 for the club and with the money from previous rounds all together Lincoln will have earned around £100,000 from the competition.

As well as the financial boost the cup run generates a buzz for fans and brings a larger amount of media coverage to the club which are all advantages, Gary Hutchinson believes the competition is vital to a side like Lincoln.

“The FA Cup is vital to a team like Lincoln, especially now as we’ve got a stronger squad than years gone by. The revenue the Oldham match will bring in could be a season changer, especially now it’s on TV. The last two matches we’ve been guilty of wasteful finishing, but with an 80k boost to the budget who knows what we could achieve? It’s also a good night for the fans, and there hadn’t been many of those recently.”

With the optimism high and myself like many other Lincoln fans excited at our chances of progressing to the third round a big question would be would the club benefit more from an easy draw in the third round to make progression easier or would a big draw against Premier league or Championship opposition be more beneficial for the club.

Gary gave me his opinion on this scenario and said: “Big draw, no doubt at all. For a club like us the Third Round is the equivalent of the final. Man United away could earn as much money in one night than we’d normally expect in a season. It could be a defining moment, after all who would remember beating Rochdale in the third round before going out away at Wigan? We want a big team and a night under the national spotlight. The club deserves it and the fans do too.”

Monday 5th of December is when all Lincoln fans will either be at Sincil Bank or glued to a television screen to see whether or not The Imps are able to pull off an upset and progress to the third round for the first time since 2009. The Imps did come close to a draw against Liverpool in the third round but lost to Mansfield in a second-round replay back in 2013. But with the Lincoln squad as strong as it has been since relegation and the Imps on a good run of form this time the fans, players and management are more confident of making it to the third round.

Matthew Calleja Cremona: ‘It was very difficult to be released from Floriana FC as I thought I had a future there’

Matthew Calleja Cremona faced one of the toughest situations any professional footballer will face during their career when he was told by Floriana Fc that his contract would not be renewed.

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Matthew Calleja Cremona (far right, bottom row) with his new teammates at Pembroke Athleta FC.

Calleja Cremona was able to find himself with two offers, one of which was his boyhood club Pembroke Athleta and Calleja Cremona admits it was a hard decision but it was an offer he couldn’t turn down.

“It was difficult at the time to decide between Hamrun Spartans, a club with great history and Pembroke Athleta.

“After thinking about this throughly I decided to return to my boyhood club.”

Having rejoined Pembroke Calleja Cremona has now played for the club in all Maltese competitions and Calleja Cremona admits this is something he is proud of.

“I’m very proud of the fact.

“Pembroke were in the bottom tier of the Maltese divisions but I always Believed they would make it to the Premier League which they have.”

Despite the luck he has had finding himself back at his boyhood club Calleja Cremona admits that being released was a difficult time for him.

“It was very difficult to be released from Floriana FC as I thought I had a future there.

“But this tough time made me stronger and thankfully I had settled straight away into the team as all of the players were there to welcome me.”

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Calleja Cremona in action for Pembroke Athleta.

Calleja Cremona is enjoying his return to Pembroke Athleta and is hoping he can help his boyhood club retain their Premier League status.

“Only time can tell, but I aim to do my very best in order to help the club retain its Premier League status.”

As well as this Calleja Cremona is hoping that the more first team opportunities he is receiving at Pembroke will help him push his way into the Maltese first team.

“The higher amount of appearances will lead to me improving my game more. I only focus on improving my game and hopefully in the future I might get the chance to start competing with the top goalkeepers in the country.”

Jamie Butler: ‘It was best for both us that I left’

Jamie Butler signed for Braintree Town F.C on a two-year deal in the summer of 2016, joining from his current club Hemel Hempstead Town F.C. Butler joined Hemel in 2015 after spending a season at Concord Rangers.

After one successful season at Hemel Hempstead in which Butler managed to make his England C debut and score a last minute equaliser from his own area against Sutton United, Butler signed for Braintree and has admitted that leaving Hemel at the end of last season was an easy decision.

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Butler (centre) celebrating his goal against Sutton United.

“It was an easy decision for me to leave and go to Braintree as I have and always will have aspirations to play as high up as I possibly can so it was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down.”

But despite Butler having clear intentions to leave Hemel Hempstead the club had different ideas as Butler admits the move was not as easy as it could have been but the whole situation has been put in the past.

“I had a great first season at Hemel and enjoyed every minute of it. It was slightly disappointing the move wasn’t made as simple as it could have been for me however I know the club didn’t want to lose me and made that clear but I said I was taking a step up not a sideways move so it all got sorted and that’s in the past.”

Having signed for Braintree Butler was able to enjoy a successful pre-season and played the first 6 games of the season keeping 2 clean sheets and put in a man of the match performance in a 2-1 away defeat at Barrow, but Butler was dropped from the first team for the match against Guiseley and after a chat with Jamie Day, Butler knew he had to get himself out of the club.

“I signed for Braintree on a two-year deal with them paying Hemel a fee for me. It was a new environment there with a whole new squad.

“I felt I had been performing well in pre season and also man of the match in one game.

“The manager however didn’t see it like that, and didn’t like my style of play (quick distribution, sweeping up high, getting on the ball a lot)  and wanted me to change.

“It was strange because I have always played like that and those are my strengths and to take them out of my game didn’t feel right. We didn’t agree on much but we did agree that it wasn’t working and that it was best for both of us that I left.”

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Butler (right) in action for former club Braintree Town.

After leaving Braintree Butler resigned for Hemel Hempstead.

“It was an easy decision for me to go straight back to Hemel after leaving Braintree, working with the manager I have a good relationship with and also the fans, playing somewhere I enjoy my football.”

Butler admits that he has settled in well at his former club and even enjoyed victory in his first match back with Hemel coming back from two goals down against Welling United to win the match 2-3.

“The club and fans welcomed me back which was nice and we had a great win in my first game away at Welling. Half of the squad is still here from last season and I know a few of the new boys that Deano (Dean Brennan) has brought in so it was easy going back into the dressing room.”

Hemel are currently 12th in the National league South table but haven’t lost a match since the 29th of August and Butler is hopeful that he and his team mates can help Hemel push up the table.

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Butler in action during his first England C call-up.

“The club didn’t have a great start to the season but I think that was down to quite a few new faces and the team taking time to settle and people getting to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

“Hemel is a club with a lot of potential and we’re currently 8 or 9 unbeaten in all competitions, which is good form that we need to carry on if we want to make the playoffs.

“It’s always nice to be on an unbeaten run, as you really don’t want it to end. However a win and a loss is better than two draws.”

Scott Garner ‘Settling in at Halifax has been easy’

This past summer Scott Garner left Boston United after playing 105 games for the club since 2013, during his time at Boston Garner tasted defeat in the playoffs for two consecutive years, however this summer saw a mass exodus of many first team players including Garner his defensive partners Carl Piergianni and Zak as well as the clubs top scorer Dayle Southwell. Garner left Boston and joined National League North rivals FC Halifax Town on a two-year deal.

Twelve games into the season and Halifax currently sit 8th in the league after picking up 6 wins, 3 draws and only 3 defeats. I recently had the chance to speak to the former Boston United captain about how he is finding things at The Shay.

“Settling in at Halifax has been easy.

“I know a lot of the lads through playing against them, so you get to know them and earn a mutual respect through that.

“Also we’ve had loads of games at Halifax already and that helps us get to know each other as well as a couple nights out always help.

“Everyone’s mixed really well and it’s a fun place to work.”

Despite settling in so well at Halifax Garner admitted he does still follow his old club closely and hopes to see the club continue to improve their form.

“I’ll always keep a look out for Boston’s score.

“I’m pleased they’ve picked up, I don’t want to see them struggling or near the bottom and they seemed to have turned the corner now.”

Garners new club Halifax take on league rivals Gloucester City, who sit one place above Halifax in 7th, this coming weekend and then face Garner’s former  club Boston the following week. Garner believes that despite both fixtures being tough his new side can come away with all 6 points.

“I’m looking forward to going back to York Street and even with two difficult away games as always with anyone we play we’re expecting maximum points.

“We’re a very strong team in this league and I’m not sure many teams look forward to playing us.”

Halifax are on a good run of form going into the match with Gloucester, with three wins form their last three games and Garner hopes that he and his team mates can continue this unbeaten run for a long time.

“We’re on a good run of form but we’re still annoyed about the three games we lost, as they were easily avoidable.

“But that feeling drives us to prevent it happening again and hopefully go unbeaten for a long time now.

“Not just drawing games either we want maximum points and to be challenging for the title.”

During this good run of form Halifax have only conceded one goal in the last 270 minutes of football. Garner regards that a better understanding amongst himself and his defensive partners has dried out all defensive errors.

“We’ve seemed to stop conceding which is always great.

“We seemed to have learnt each others games better and gelled even more now, cutting out our tiny errors and the goals have dried up.”

Much of Halifax’s success this season has come at home with The Shaymen only losing one game at The Shay this season. Garner admits that to have a successful season Halifax must be impressive at home throughout the season and avoid defeat when travelling.

“The Shay is a great place to play and we’re always expected to win our home games, it being such a nice ground could play against you as a team, but we handle it well and tend to start well and the dictate games.

“If you are going to do anything in a season you need to be very string at home and avoid defeat when playing away, so we are hoping we can continue to do this.”

Despite great results at home early this season The Shaymen have struggled for form away from home, picking up 2 wins, 2 draws and 2 defeats on the road this season. Garner hopes his side can pick up their from away from The Shay.

“I think we will pick up away from home and become harder to beat.

“Concede less goals so that on our travels one or two goals will secure all three points.”

Finally garner spoke about where he believes Halifax will finish come the end of the season.

“I’m 100% convinced we will be right up there in the top two or three.

“AFC Fylde are very strong but let’s hope they have a dip and we stay consistent and pile pressure on them.

“Our target at a club as big and with a squad as good as Halifax is to win the league.”

 

Taylor Miles All You Need To Know

Lincoln City’s new signing Taylor Miles speaks to The Dugout and reveals all about his expectation of next season.

Name: Taylor Robert Miles

D.O.B: 11/07/1995

Position: Midfielder

Place of Birth: Watford

Preferred Foot: Right

Team Taylor Supports: Watford

Taylor Miles in action for Concord Rangers.


Taylor Miles signed for Lincoln City on Tuesday and has since spoken to The Dugout about the season ahead, the move to Lincoln and his excitement of playing for Lincoln.

Taylor started the interview by talking about his predictions for Lincoln next season, Miles feels that new manager Danny Cowley will be key to the success.

“I know Lincoln will do well this season under the Cowleys. They know how to get the best out of their players. I believe we’ll have a successful season.”

Pre-season training begins next Monday and will be the first time for Miles, Alex Woodyard and Sam Habergham will meet their new team-mates.

“I can’t wait to get started. It will be good to meet new faces, personalities and to train alongside new players.”

Returning to training with Woodyard and Habergham will make it easier for Miles. The Cowleys may find inplementing their tactics easier with some familiar faces.

“Yeah it will be good to play and train with Alex and Sam again. He’s an odd character I must say, but a great player.”

Miles has joined on a one-year deal so will need to impress over the course of the season to earn a contract next year.

“Yeah I’m definitely looking to impress and make an impact wherever I play in my career.”

Taylor is only 20 so the idea of moving away from home for a new job could be a worrying one for him but he insists he will settle in.

“I’ve lived away from home before as a scholar at West Ham United for four years. So it’ll be an experience I’ve had before so it won’t be to hard to settle in that perspective.”

Despite Braintree’s success last season they do have a smaller fan base than Lincoln City and Miles is excited to play in front of crowds of over 2500.

“Having a crowd like that excites me as the majority would be home fans who would be behind the team. Before I signed I heard Lincoln gets a good crowd. I Can’t wait to see it.”

This transfer to Lincoln means that Miles is now a professional footballer for the first time and it’s one of the best feelings ever according to Miles.

“It’s one of the best feelings ever. It’s been a dream since I was young and now it’s happening. Now I am one I don’t want it to ever end.”

Siraj Eddin Reveals all to The Dugout

Siraj Eddin has already played for his national team, won the countries Premier league and has also played Champions League football all at the age of 22, but now the young striker is undecided about his future after spending the season on loan at Pembroke Athleta.

Eddin spoke to The Dugout in February 2016 at the time his former side Pembroke Athleta were sitting 9th in the league and things were looking good for the recently promoted side who eventually finished 8th.

“It’s been a positive season, maybe with a bit more luck and attention we could be higher. I think we are one of the surprises of the season, considering it is Pembroke’s first season in the Premier League.

“Also because personally I belie we play attractive and encouraging football.

“You can’t really argue, that it hasn’t been a fairy tale ride for us.

“We are a group of hungry footballers looking to take our chances and enjoy ourselves and always try to do better than the previous game and help the club to settle and establish itself in the Maltese Premier League.” said Eddin

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Eddin told The Dugout that he believes that the diversity of nationalities in the Pembroke squad is what made it easy to integrate and work together and believes that the togetherness of the squad can be seen in the performances and results.

“I think our foreign players have made it easy for us to adapt with them. Most of the players were new with the club so everyone tried their best to work together.

“As you can see from our games you will notice that we enjoy playing together and adapted quite well too.”

Eddin went on to recall his past playing experiences before this loan spell with Pembroke including playing at international levels and in the Champions League as well as winning the league his current side have never competed in.

“I have been capped for the under-17s and under-19s. It’s always an honor representing your national team.

“Playing for the national team is something which is a bit indescribable as it gives you a special feeling playing and trying to make your country proud.

“Although it was only a few minutes. Playing against Qarabag in the champions league with my boyhood club is a game you I will certainly not forget.

“Also being in the squad for an away match with more than 10,000 supporters watching the game is an experience I will always remember.

“I was very young but being able to train and form part of a team which won the Premier League and being able to celebrate making  a few appearances with Malta’s elite.

“Is something I will cherish forever.”

Having already achieved nearly all things possible in Malta Eddin is eager to eventually move on and look to play in a different league to develop his skills and knowledge of the game.

“I personally think it’s every Maltese player dream to test himself in another league.

“Although facilities and resources are limited we still give our best so maybe one day we will have the chance to play in a better league abroad. It’s important to always go step by step and when an opportunity arrives which can make you better, go on and take it.”