The Big Kick Off Is Here

Last updated : 07 August 2009 By Gary Hutchinson

Exciting times for every football fan as finally we can stop pretending to be interested in Jensen Button, Andy Murray and the flaming Ashes. We no longer need to pin our sporting allegiance to any flag other than that of our beloved football team, and in my case Lincoln City.

The barren months of June and July are gone for another 10 months, and stretching out in front of us are those glorious days of football every weekend! So tomorrow pull on your replica shirt and get down to the trust suite for 1pm as the Imps bandwagon is about to start rolling down the hill.

Of course some of you won't be going to the game, so come three o clock get Jeff Stelling on your TV, get the fridge well stocked and have Radio Lincolnshire on in the background. I've missed Michael Hortin furnishing my Saturdays with news of the Imps when I can't go. I've missed Jeff Stelling's witty one liners and blatant love of the hapless Hartlepool. I've missed travelling to the Bank even more than that, girlfriend at my side displaying an immaculate knowledge of the Imps squad. Her knowledge of squad numbers and which players are 'ugly or funny looking' sometimes astounds me!

Last season we didn't win on a Saturday afternoon from October onwards, but tomorrow records like that don't count. No-one except a few fishy smelling individuals care we lost 5-1 at Blundell Park (although it's still there like a surpressed memory waiting to ruin your life), and frankly just two months after his departure nobody could care less about a Romanian who divided a City.

What we care about now is a season of fresh starts and banished false dawns. This year we have Chris Fagan leading the line alongside 'The Beast Of The Bank' Rene Howe. Paul Connor will be providing some experienced and tenacious back up. We have our very own prodigal son Richard Butcher back where he belongs, in the red and white of Lincoln City FC. Across the back the strongest centre back line up for ten years at Lincoln has had some much needed pace and life attached to its flanks with Joe Heath and Cian Hughton looking a real handful.

Of course Captain Kerr will be back, although maybe not tomorrow. He'll be amply deputised for by Shane Clarke, a young first teamer who has another ten ex youth players waiting to join him in the first team squad. We have a healthy bank balance, a healthy manager and some really passionate fans.

In fact they are so passionate they have called themselves the Passionista's, with the central aim of following matchday announcer Alan Longs cries to 'raise the roof' and 'get this place rocking'. Tomorrow promises to be noisier and more colourful than Sincil bank was at any point last season. The 2-0 final day defeat by Aldershot is a distant memory and with the Passionista's in full flow hopefully we can suck that ball into the Stacey West end goal.

You may have picked up a slight hint that I am excited about the new season, and every Imps fan should be to. We've been predicted as finishing anywhere from 4th to 15th, and the bookies have us as narrow as 8-1 and as long as 20-1 to go up. Nobody can decide where the Imps will finish. However this year is the deal breaker, Jacko's Imps have to perform. There's hope, there optimism and most of all theres a blank page for Peter Jackson and the red and white army to write a new chapter in Lincoln Citys 125 year history.