This blog was written just ahead of the last fixture of the season and of course we've not only seen the departure of the Big Apple (to mixed reviews) but also the appointment of Mark Kennedy (yet to receive an Imps nickname). So, while the inevitable coming's and goings over the off season will continue, here's a reflection on what last season was for us (see our favourite StaceyWestBlog for on field matters).
No promotion, or play off .. relief is just a different sort of celebration, right?
I’m sure we’ll be chewing the fat about; the inconsistencies, injuries, frustrations, the run of form (or rather lack of), together with a lack of luck!, for years to come. While the world (rightly) has bigger ‘fish to fry’, and while individuals, families and friends have no doubt had their hurdles or worse to bear, I’d like to think on reflection there’s been a lot that’s been good at Lincoln this season.
We’ve seen some delicious #Imps games - when we've hit our stride or our opponents have missed theirs, we’ve enjoyed some good results and away days.
We’ve seen some players develop and grow into their game, and a few wow and delight us.
Michael Appleton has actually been with us throughout the season despite huge personal health issues.
The club is still looking to grow and secure its roots in the community - the investment in the revised Stacey West Stand looks to the medium and long term; towards rewards which will benefit thousands of people in our city. This will bring benefits we may not be able to predict right now, but there’s every chance it could eventually enhance the on pitch opportunities.
So while it’s not been the euphoria of recent years, steady hands and belief mean we're still in League One and surely that’s an achievement worth celebrating! And what about Lady Imps?
I thought we’d had a fairly quiet season.. and hadn’t felt there was a lot to shout about in our fifth birthday season. But when I look back I’m amazed, grateful and feel blessed. The support we have is appreciated and absolutely vital - ‘likes’ feel encouraging and we all need that, paid memberships really do enable us to keep going and most of all we love seeing you at the club.
From our Committee including myself, Jackie Atkins, Julie Romain, Kirsty Lalka, Emma-Lou Stirling, Nicky Dring & Adele Would we'd like to say THANK YOU x
Perhaps the project which has quietly made the most difference and one we’re all hugely proud of is the #ImpsMatchdayWelcome project. Supporters, and fellow fans including Red Imps Community Trust, Imptoons & Stacey West Blog helped fundraise to buy season tickets to use for underrepresented or disadvantaged members of our community. Lincoln City FC matched our efforts. We invited people suffering loneliness or isolation, who live with mental health or learning disabilities, minorities from different ethnic or national backgrounds, all to come to their first football game. These included ‘Alive & Kicking, Linkage, families in Lincoln from Russia, Poland, East Timor and others.
There’s more to do but the joy for the 40 or so guests we hosted was a privilege to see, the guest family who had recently arrived from Ukraine especially touched all our hearts. Thanks to everyone who helped make it work.
The #FansForDiversity project also treated us to a new flag
The Football Supporters
This season has seen us connect with emerging supporter groups for women fans across the pyramid. From the Amber Belles of Cambridge and Doncaster Rovers Women Supporter Group, to being part of Dons Trust ‘Women at the Game’ event at Plough Lane. Together with the club we partnered with the #HerGameToo campaign which took social media and football by storm. We’re looking ahead to meeting Women of Watford and fans at Fulham. #HerGameToo
As supporters we must also celebrate the achievements of Lincoln City Women FC, especially their fantastic FA Cup run to the 4th round taking on LIverpool. Goalless until just before half time, pegging the reds (who went on to achieve promotion to the WSL) to just 6 goals was no mean feat. Congratulations on a great season - the first complete season since forming in 2019! The launch of the Lincoln City Women’s Academy Girls and the Girls BTEC programmes by Lincoln City Foundation sees the football pathway open for all at the club.
Lincoln City Women FC
As part of the Football Supporters Association we also contributed to the Government’s Fan Led Review urging Government and Football stakeholders to implement change to protect the national game. We wrote to local MP’s requesting they support the recommendations from MP Tracey Crouch - their responses were positive. We very much welcome the announcement from Government that the review's recommendations will be implemented and that there will be a separate review of the Women’s Game starting this year. More on that here FSA
As part of celebrations of International Women’s Day 2022 we were invited to be part of the coverage by the EFL and Sky Sports highlighting women supporting their local clubs.
And to round off the year of course we were delighted to see the launch of the #MyCityMyShirt showing the diverse fan base we have. Our Chair Maria Ryder worked with the FSA, the club and fans to create it and thanks everyone at the club, Gary Hutchinson, Amanda Slater and Danny Nesbitt and all those who took part and everyone who bought a shirt. Of course there is always more to do to reach out to anyone who wants to be at football but thinks it might not be for them and we’ll continue to support initiatives which enhance the Lincoln City family.
All in all as we think of the 21/22 season having marked our 5th Birthday, albeit sadly no party, there's much to be positive about.
So HAPPY BIRTHDAY to us!!
Come on we’re looking forward to next season already aren’t we?
Derby.. Posh.. the VEGGIES !!!!
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If you’d like to get involved we’d welcome helping hands too firstname.lastname@example.org