Four trialists where in action as Lincoln City lost 2-1 at Gainsborough yesterday, two thought to have been former Derby County men, with the other couple having recently left Scunthorpe United and Grimsby Town respectively, as per therealefl.co.uk.
A huge theme of this transfer window particularly in the Football League has been the prioritising of younger players. With clubs looking to cut down on wages having been hit financially by the pandemic, a lot of lower-cost but more risk-free deals have been done. In line with this it is good to see Lincoln, 2020/21 League One play-off final losers, giving four unattached players a chance in pre-season.
Callum Minkley, 20, and Joe Bateman, 22, are on trial following their release from Derby County, both are predominantly centre backs but Bateman has been deployed in defensive midfield and at right back in his short career. The latter too was on the bench once in the Championship last season, when the Rams were put to the sword 3-1 by Reading in early May.
The other two arrive at Sincil Bank after their contracts ran out in League Two and the National League, George Hornshaw has been exposed to the most Football League first team action out of the four, making 12 appearances for Scunthorpe United last season. The 21-year-old right back has also had loans with Farsley Celtic and Gainsborough.
Jock Curran is the last player looking to impress after his release from League Two’s rock bottom club last term, Grimsby Town, the 20-year-old central midfielder spent the first half of last season on loan at Gabriel Zakuani’s Spalding United.
This is a massive opportunity for all four players to earn a contract at a League One club particularly the latter two who would have been looking for a club in non-league, if the Imps had not shown interest it would seem. Minkley and Bateman are still yet to have their first tastes of senior men’s football and may see other chances come up should they fail to convince Lincoln, due to the profile of Derby’s academy in recent years.
It will be interesting to track their progress if they earn a deal, the Imps have strengthened their ranks with three additions so far in the window, Chris Maguire on a free from Sunderland and Premier League loanees in the form of Lewis Fiorini and Dan N’Lundulu.