While Lincoln City has a host of newcomers to this year’s squad, the Imps do return Anthony Scully to the offensive attack – last season’s second-highest goal scorer for the club -, Tom Hopper (eight goals in 2020/21) and Lewis Montsma (eight goals last season) return to the line-up as well for the Imps. However they lost last season’s top goal scorer Jorge Grant (15 goals in 2020/21) who made a move to Peterborough United over the summer.
The Imps come into this weekend’s match with Rovers sitting 15th in the Sky Bet League One table, and have a goal difference of 0 across all competitions.
The defence is headlined by captain Conor McGrandles, while the services of players such as Scully, Teddy Bishop and Lewis Fiorini anchor the midfield and forward positions on the pitch, respectfully. Although playing in just 10 matches to this point in the campaign, Chris Maguire is tied for the team lead in assists with three, matching Scully and Bishop for the team lead in that department.
Noted as a creative midfielder, Teddy Bishop arrived to Lincoln City in July 2021, following a seven-year stint at Ipswich Town. Having spent 10 years within the Ipswich Town youth system, Bishop signed his first professional contract with the Tractor Boys in 2014. He would go on to feature more than 125 times for Ipswich Town, scoring five goals and battling through a number of injuries throughout his stint with the club. Bishop joined the Imps over the summer for an undisclosed fee. On the season, Bishop has scored one goal and contributed three assists. His one goal scored was a stunner from outside the box in a Carabao Cup contest against Shrewsbury Town. In March 2015, Bishop received his first international call-up for the England U19 squad, but he was forced to withdraw prior to his inclusion with the team due to injury. He is the second-most fouled player on the Imps team this season with 19 fouls drawn, while also delivering 13 crosses into the box. He has picked up six interceptions in defence, in addition to registering 10 tackles won.
Another youngster for the Imps, Lewis Fiorini arrived to Lincoln City on loan from parent club Manchester City just prior to the beginning of the 2021/22 season. Born in Manchester, Fiorini was a youth player for City before signing his first professional contract with the club in July 2021, inking a contract to stay at the Etihad through 2026. In August 2020, he initially joined NAC Breda in the Eerste Divisie (second-tier of Dutch football). In his time in the Netherlands, he would net five goals in 32 appearances throughout the 2019/20 season. So far this season, Fiorini owns the second-most goals on the Imps squad with three in 15 appearances. He has 12 shots on target in 29 total shots, giving him a 41.4% shots on target clip. He is averaging 2.78 shots per game, in addition to 1.15 shots on target per contest. Defensively, he has 10 interceptions to go along with 15 tackles won. As an international footballer, Fiorini first represented the England U15 squad before moving to represent the Scotland U16 side. He has worked his way up the ranks, representing Scotland’s U17, U19 and U21 squads.
Welshman Regan Poole made a permanent move to Lincoln City on a multi-year contract in January 2021. He arrived to the Imps after spending just under two seasons with MK Dons, playing in 51 games and scoring three goals for the club.
Poole began his senior career in 2014, signing his first professional contract with Newport County, before eventually making a move to Manchester United. Poole was then loaned to clubs Northampton Town and Newport County, as he failed to register a game for United. Poole played on the international level for Wales, representing the U17, U19, U20 and U21 sides. He would come on to replace Chris Mepham for the Wales senior squad as part of the club’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Slovakia and Croatia in October 2019. This season for Lincoln City, Poole has scored one goal and provided one assist. He is tied alongside teammate Teddy Bishop as the second-most fouled player on the team with 19 fouls drawn. He has contributed 18 crosses into the box, going on to pick up 19 interceptions (second-most on the squad) and 13 tackles won in defence.
Republic of Ireland international Anthony Scully is a doubt for this weekend’s match which will be news to Richie Wellens ears as he has been a proficient goal scorer for Lincoln City since his arrival to LNER Stadium in February 2020.
Born in London, Anthony’s father, Tony, also played professionally for Crystal Palace, Manchester City and Queens Park Rangers. Anthony Scully joined the West Ham United youth system in 2011, later inking his first professional contract with the Hammers in 2016. Although he would never feature for the club on the first team level, he quickly became a prominent member of the Lincoln City offensive attack after signing with the Imps. He scored his first goal for the club in his debut against Accrington Stanley. Since his arrival, Scully has scored more than 20 goals in around 60 appearances for the Imps. This season, he leads the squad with seven goals scored and three assists. He owns a 38.1% shots on target ratio, while hitting 0.25 goals per shots on target. He also takes 1.09 shots on target per game. He is second on the Imps team with 48 crosses delivered into the box. Internationally, Scully began his career with the Republic of Ireland U15 side, before switching to play for the England U16 team. In 2015, he would ultimately return to the Republic of Ireland and play for the U17 team. He has also represented the U19 and U21 sides, respectively. Scully was named the Sky Bet League One Player of the Month in September.