Danny Cowley outlines his vision of how Lincoln City can produce their own talent

Sports: ‘It’s been an amazing ride but it isn’t over just because the Cowleys have hopped off’

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Following the Cowleys’ decision to leave Lincoln City for Huddersfield Town, Imps reporter Mark Whiley reflects on the last three years and insists the club’s rise does not have to end now.

After three incredible, success-laden, club-changing years, the Cowleys’ time at Lincoln City is over.

If you’d said to anyone at the inspirational fans’ forum in May 2016 – when the Cowleys were formally introduced to fans – that the club reached an FA Cup quarter-final, win two league titles and a Wembley cup final, they would probably have suggested you go and lie down in darkened room.

But the Cowleys’ impact on the club goes beyond titles – they somehow managed to unite the city and large parts of the county behind a club which had been forgotten by parts of the community.

Who would have thought three years ago that 9,000-plus crowds would be the norm?

Who would have thought youngsters would be ditching their Real Madrid and Manchester United shirt for an Imps jersey, which they can now even buy in a city centre store.

This city has plenty to be proud about and, over the last three years, the football club has been a major part of that.

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Cowleys leave the Imps

There will no doubt be a sombre mood, dissolution and perhaps even some tears over the Cowleys’ decision to join Huddersfield Town.

While some of us have seen this coming over the last few months, others have steadfastly believed the brothers will stay put, at least until the end of the season.

It was a tough summer for Cowley, who regularly cited the club’s budgetary constraints as he looked to turn the Imps into a competitive force in League One.

To be fair to the club, they have backed the managers as much as possible, with chairman Clive Nates loosening the purse string to enough to convince Nottingham Forest to send Tyler Walker to Sincil Bank.

The early wins helped, but Cowley certainly seemed happier after Walker’s arrival.

I’ve long held the opinion that the Cowleys wouldn’t depart mid-season and instead wait for the summer, when proper preparation and recruitment can take place.

I think that would be Danny and Nicky’s preference and there would have been options for them at the end of this season, you would think. But they’ve decided now is the time to move on.

Disappointing? Of course. And the way it has unfolded over the last week – with the Cowleys initially rebuffing Huddersfield and then being linked with Sheffield Wednesday – has been a little bizarre.

The Cowley brothers on the touchline at Goodison Park
The Cowley brothers on the touchline at Goodison Park
(Image: CameraSport – Chris Vaughan)

But they’ve more than earned the right to decide the time of their departure.

I thank them, congratulate them on their new role and wish them well.

It’s been an amazing ride, but it hasn’t finished just because the Cowleys have hopped off.

The club is the strongest it’s been for a generation with a talented young squad and shrewd decision-makers behind the scenes.

The Cowleys’ replacement have huge shoes to fill, but also very attractive ones. The interest in the job, from managers in and out of work, will be significant.

Maintaining a place near the top of League One would have been a tall order had the Cowleys stayed, but why can’t the team strive for a top-10 finish or even mount a play-off tilt?

This doesn’t have to be the start of a decline. There’s no reason why the club can’t consolidate their new-found status and challenge for more glory.

Remember, it’s Lincoln City FC, not Danny Cowley FC.

 



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