At last footy’s nearly back – here’s some words for this coming week.

Football in earnest is nearly back. The great sporting soap opera of following your club starts with episode one at Bolton on Saturday.

 Supporters look upon pre-season matches in different ways. Some fans go to them all and others see little value in them as a spectacle. Myself, family members, and Trust colleagues have been to quite a few in the last month and the following is a quick whistle-stop summary of what we got out of them. Kings Lynn was enjoyable because we could see some new signings for the first time and it’s good to visit a classic non-league ground. At Ashby Avenue a youthful Imps team played pass-and-move football for the full 90 minutes. Eventually the Whites couldn’t compete with it and the 3-1 scoreline didn’t flatter the youngsters at all. One unanimous opinion was that a match between both Lincolns should be a permanent community-based close season arrangement.

It was my first trip to Boston United’s new ground to see them take on the Imps. The stadium is very good indeed but, with City putting out a strong starting eleven, the Pilgrims resistance on the pitch wasn’t as impressive. It was men against boys in a 7-0 victory. It was a different story at Grimsby where youngsters and trialists competed well but conceded twice. A lot of the first team came on late on and we then dominated. Sadly a tiny minority of Imps supporters were critical of the result when the whole point of the fixture, like all the friendlies, was to get players match fit and see what they could do. The words ‘tiny minority’ says it all though.

Finally we were back at the LNER last weekend and the ground inside and out looks fantastic. We set up our Red Imps Community Trust stand in the Fan Village where we could give our freebie stuff, hand out competition entries, offer Imps related books and collectible programmes, and a whole load more. Another service of ours as I hope you knoiw is to answer queries about the club which, as Trust rep on the club boards, I’m pleased to do. We’ll be there every home game, next to the Coddy’s drinks and sweets concession which I reckon, as someone with a sweet tooth, is a very good arrangement.

Rotherham looked very good once they’d taken the lead and there’s clearly quite a gulf between League One and the Championship, just like there is between League Two and our division.

So now the friendlies are done and with five away games in our first seven competitive fixtures our squad will be seriously tested. Recruitment has been excellent though and good players are still with us, so let’s hope we have a good start to season 23-24.