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I think I only touched the ball about ten times!

20 March 2020

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This weekend, you can hear from City manager, Michael Appleton who speaks to BBC Radio Lincolnshire about his career in professional football to date, from the highs of playing for his boyhood club Manchester United before moving to The Imps to have a first taste of 'mens football' and much more.

Michael of course spent a short time at the start of his playing career as a professional on loan with The Imps and it’s a time he remembers fondly, in what was his first move away from his parent club as his career was just kicking off although he soon realised how different things were away from the Premier League club but admits things have improved immeasurably since he first cast his eyes on Lincoln City back in the mid 90's.

“My first loan from Man United was at Lincoln and it was at a time when the club was near the bottom of the old fourth division which is now of course League Two. It was a difficult time but it was great for me as it was a big wakeup call and an eye opener in terms of the stuff you got at United.” Michael said.

“To come to Lincoln as it was back then, I don’t think there was a training ground, we used to train at the stadium.  We used to turn up at the stadium and change at the stadium, sports science was very different, it [certainly] was very different to what I was used to and of course the football was different too.”

Although Michael only featured a few times during his temporary spell with The Imps, he says his experiences during his time under the management of Steve Wicks and his first taste as a player away Old Trafford left an indelible mark in his mind and he still uses that time as a point of reference to this day to help players in a similar situation.

“I think I only played four games and I think I only touched the ball about ten times in those games!!!  It was a big eye opener and education and sometimes it can be a risk bringing in first time loans [like I was] into the building."

Michael continued: “You can look at the Tyreece John-Jules situation here this season. It was his first move away from a club like Arsenal.

"[But] With the experiences I had as a player in my day, sort of helped me deal with Tyreece and other players we’ve brought in like Conor Coventry who has a great reputation but is away from home for the first time.”

Michael admitted that having the ability to call upon his contacts to help progress his career has always been something that he has done and that ongoing friendship and respect from others has profited the Imps. Having initially worked with David Moyes as one of the Scottish manager's players at Preston and by keeping contact with the former  Everton, Manchester United and current West Ham manager, that friendship and respect between the pair played a large part in finalising the deals to bring the young Irish duo of Conor Coventry and Anthony Scully to LNER Stadium.

“I’m in the area where he [David] lives quite often at times, I’ve seen him at many games and also Alan Irvine is someone who I’ve come to know over time. So, I think it was almost the icing on the cake that they’d gone into West Ham at the time we were looking at bringing in Conor and Anthony. The hard work had gone in before they went in there but it just made it that little bit easier to get the deal done in that David and Alan know me and trust me to look after their players.”

To listen to the full feature interview with The Imps’ manager and BBC Radio Lincolnshire's Michael Hortin - HERE 

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