New-look Cards ready for the off
9:00am, Thu 4th Aug 2016
Woking v Lincoln City
Vanarama National League
3pm on Saturday 6 August 2016
Make sure youâ€™re at the Laithwaite Community Stadium on Saturday afternoon to see Garry Hillâ€™s new-look Cards take on ambitious Lincoln City in an intriguing opening game of the season. Some familiar faces have gone but Garry Hillâ€™s young squad has performed encouragingly in their friendly games, and several of the new signings look as though they could prove a handful. Letâ€™s get behind them and cheer them on to an opening day win!
Garry Hill has a reputation for securing value for money, so Cards fans will be hoping that heâ€™s pulled a few more rabbits out of the hat this summer as the Club looks to maintain its record of top half finishes since its return to the top flight of the non-League world. Budgetary restrictions, and the lure of full-time wage packets, undoubtedly contributed to the departure of experienced hands Scott Rendell and Mark Ricketts, along with Chris Arthur and Bruno Andrade, while Gez Sole bade a sad farewell to Kingfield after terrific service to the Club. But Garry has brought in some interesting replacements, with perhaps a bigger emphasis on youthful energy, pace and ambition than in some recent seasons.
Up front, Gozie Ugwu, the returning Delano Sam-Yorke (who will be familiar to Lincoln fans) and Zak Ansah could all pose problems for opposition defences with their pace and aggression, with Charlie Penny operating just behind them. Out wide the exciting Watford on-loan prospect Dennon Lewis and Nathan Ralph should both also provide an attacking threat, while Max Kretzschmar, Fabio Saraiva and Charlie Carter should all prove more than useful partners for Keiran Murtagh in midfield. Michael Poke in goal and Ben Gordon at left back are experienced additions in defence, with Brandon Hall hoping to push Poke for the keeperâ€™s jersey. Some key players remain from last season in addition to Murtagh. Woking fans will be hoping in particular that Ismail Yakubu, returning from injury, Brian Saah and Joey Jones can form strong defensive partnerships, while ex-Imp Jake Caprice has already shown that heâ€™s lost none of his ability to bomb forward and get in dangerous crosses.
The appointment of Danny Cowley as Manager, with his brother Nicky as Assistant, must give Imps fans renewed hope that their team can put in a strong bid for a play-off place this season after some disappointing campaigns. Cowley worked wonders with Braintree Town last season and his previous track record with Concord Rangers is also highly impressive.
The Imps look as though they have a very competitive squad, reinforced at the last minute by the eye-catching signing of Nathan Arnold, who proved a thorn in our side for Grimsby last season, and the capture of Dover defender Sean Raggett. Familiar names from last season include keeper Paul Farman, midfielders Alan Power and Craig Stanley and striker Matt Rhead, whom Barrow tried hard to lure away from Sincil Bank following his impressive goalscoring exploits. Among the new squad members Cowley has brought in a couple of players from Braintree: highly-rated midfielder Alex Woodyard and defender Sam Habergham. Other new arrivals include striker Jonny Margetts, who was with Tranmere Rovers last season but who also had loan spells at Southport and Altrincham, and striker Jack Muldoon, previously with Rochdale.
The Imps have enjoyed a very encouraging pre-season. Their last couple of games saw them draw 2-2 at home to Peterborough United and then, on Saturday, they beat Crewe Alexandra 3-0, with two goals from Adam Marriott. The formidable Matt Rhead is a particular threat in the air.
Over 65/Students with valid student card Â£13
The game will be segregated, with Lincoln City fans allocated the Chris Lane open terrace and part of the seated Leslie Gosden Stand.
Donâ€™t forget the fantastic hospitality package on offer in the Geoff Chapple Lounge for the August games: see the news item dated 23 July 2016 for more details. Season ticket holders should bear in mind, too, that they can purchase hospitality in the Lounge for only Â£30 plus VAT.
The Cards travel to newly-promoted Solihull Moors on Tuesday night (9 August). Book your place on the Cards Trust coach by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com , phoning 01483 772470 or calling in at the Club Shop on Saturday. The coach leaves at 4pm and costs Â£21 for members, Â£26 for non-members and Â£11/Â£13 for accompanied U16s (maximum of two per accompanying adult).
The Cards travel to Southport on Saturday 13 September. Please note that the Cards Trust is not running a coach to this match.
The Cardsâ€™ next home game is on Tuesday 16 September when they take on last seasonâ€™s defeated play-off finalists, Forest Green Rovers.
Come on, you Cards!