We are thrilled to be able to announce that Sam Long has signed his first professional contract with the club.
The young goalkeeper says it’s a proud moment but realises this is only a start and the hard work really kicks in from here as he aims to build himself a career in the professional game.
“It feels great, I’m really proud and I’d like to thank my parents and everyone who has supported me because it’s what I’ve been aiming for to be a professional footballer.” He said.
Sam said his development off the field has been just as important and cites the help given to him at Lincoln Minster School as being a vital part in helping him grow as a person and as an aspiring footballer.
“It’s been great, one of the biggest reasons that I came to the club in the first place was that they offered me (the option) to do my A level. So, it’s been great, in just working with my teachers I’ve improved in that as well and hopefully I’ll get a good result there too.”
The Imps’ Director of Football, Jez George, says that Sam has worked hard to get to this point but the young man’s learning must continue in all aspects for him to succeed but he certainly has the tools at his disposal to make the most of the opportunity and it’s up to him to continue his upward path of progress.
“The pathway for every scholar that we offer a professional contract is different.” Jez said.
“In Sam, we are signing an extremely talented young goalkeeper with huge potential who has made fantastic progress over his 15 months at the Club. In the short-term, he will not be challenging for a place in our First Team but we have made a long-term commitment because we see Sam as a potential future no.1 goalkeeper for Lincoln City.
“Whenever a scholar signs a professional contract, it is always a team effort and this is no different. Sam’s parents have been fantastic throughout the whole process, from the moment we first spotted Sam playing for Royal Russell School. Numerous staff across the Academy and First Team have also played their part in Sam’s development, but I would like to highlight the role of our GK Coach, Steve Croudson.
“Steve has been crucial in Sam’s progress, which has really accelerated since our return to training this season, and he will continue to be a massive influence, pushing Sam every day. Sam knows the really hard work is only just starting and this is just the next step in a long journey. He couldn’t have a better goalkeeper coach for what he needs than Steve and, in Alex Palmer, he has the perfect role model.”