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Page last updated at 16:11 GMT, Thursday, 22 July 2010 17:11 UK

In depth: Lincoln City boss Chris Sutton's new signings

Chris Sutton
Sutton took charge at Sincil Bank in September 2009

By Joe Plewes
BBC Lincolnshire Blast reporter

After a disappointing 2009/10 campaign that saw the Imps flirt with relegation, Lincoln City manager Chris Sutton has made no fewer than eight signings to bolster his squad for the League Two season.

Throughout the close season the City boss has outlined the need for extra pace, width and dynamism within the squad, as well as an element of experience to complement a young side.

So just who are the new boys set to wear red and white stripes this season?

JOE ANYON

Joe Anyon
Anyon won Port Vale's player of the season award in 2009

With the somewhat inevitable departure of goalkeeper Rob Burch to League One new boys Notts County, the Imps were quick to make Anyon their new number one.

But the stopper, 23, was not actually on the Imps' wish list until goalkeeping coach Paul Musslewhite spotted on television that he had been released by Port Vale.

Anyon attracted Premier League attention early in his career but was displaced by teenager Chris Martin at Vale after he suffered a broken leg in March 2009.

Despite him making only seven appearances last season Musselwhite, a former Valiants team-mate of Anyon, told BBC Lincolnshire: "He's a very good keeper, he's still very young but with a lot of talent, a lot of potential and experience."

JAMIE CLAPHAM

Jamie Clapham
Clapham has made more than 420 league appearances

The 34-year-old left sided player was released by Notts County this summer after helping them to the League Two title.

He had spells at Ipswich Town and Birmingham City in the Premier League and also played for Wolves, Leeds United and Leicester City.

Clapham appeared in a holding midfield role for the Meadow Lane club last season and Sutton told BBC Lincolnshire: "I'm really pleased we got him, he covers a lot of positions."

Despite beginning his career at Premier League Tottenham Hotspur, the veteran full-back was born in Lincoln and will be following in the footsteps of his grandfather Bert Wilkinson who played for the Imps in the 1940s and 1950s.

JOSH O'KEEFE

Josh O'Keefe
O'Keefe has appeared once for the Republic of Ireland Under-21 side

The 21-year-old central midfielder Sutton's first signing of the close season, with the Imps boss wasting no time in tying the Republic of Ireland Under-21 international to a two-year deal following his release from League One Walsall.

The ex-Blackburn midfielder made 13 appearances for the Saddlers and Sutton's status as an Ewood Park legend is sure to have been a contributing factor in his decision to come to Lincolnshire.

O'Keefe is known for his box-to-box qualities which should delight fans who feel City have been lacking in dynamism and goals from midfield since the departure of Lee Frecklington.

The tall, rangy midfielder will also hope to provide a much needed presence to the Imps centrally, with Sutton remarking upon his signature: "I think it was important we got some bigger players in."

ALBERT JARRETT

Albert Jarrett
Jarrett scored twice for Barnet last season

Flying winger Jarrett, 25, certainly fits Sutton's bill in terms of adding pace to City's attack.

The wide-man was a virtual ever-present for League Two rivals Barnet last season, gaining the nickname 'the giraffe' in making his 45 league appearances, including a strong opening-day display at Sincil Bank.

A useful set-piece taker, the ex-Boston United loanee will certainly offer different options to the Imps' forward play and has signed a one-year deal.

The Sierra Leone international has told BBC Lincolnshire that he will put club before country, saying: "It's a vital time for the club. We need to start well and right now all I'm focused on is Lincoln."

MUSTAPHA CARAYOL

Mustapaha Carayol
Carayol had a loan spell with non-league Kettering last season

Perhaps the most eagerly anticipated of the new arrivals, 21-year-old left winger Carayol finished last season strongly at Torquay United.

The powerful youngster was key in protecting the Gulls' league status, scoring a magnificent individual effort against Grimsby at Blundell Park which helped to condemn the Imps' local rivals to the Blue Square Premier.

Carayol has been the subject of a tribunal tussle between his former employers and the Imps, with Torquay manager Paul Buckle claiming they deserve a fee for the winger as he is under the age of 24.

Of all the new signings at Sincil Bank this year, Carayol is the one that many at the club seem most excited about.

GAVIN MCCALLUM

Gavin McCallum
McCallum began his career at League One Yeovil Town

Born in Mississauga, Ontario, the Canada international striker has experience in non-league football in England with the likes of Crawley Town, Sutton United and Weymouth.

Another player who performed admirably against a weak Imps side, McCallum is sure to have caught the eye in bagging a brace for Hereford United in front of Sutton at Edgar Street last February.

Predominantly used as a winger during his career, the Imps' new number nine is now expected to occupy a regular role spearheading City's attack, having scored eight times in 20 appearances for Hereford United last season.

The 22-year-old also netted a debut goal for Canada in a friendly against Venezuela in May, and upon his arrival from the Bulls Sutton claimed: "There was a whole queue of clubs watching him, so we are pleased to get this done."

DREWE BROUGHTON

Drewe Broughton
Broughton has played for 17 clubs in the past 12 years

Six-foot plus target man Broughton is a player instantly recognisable to Imps fans following a seven-game loan spell at Sincil Bank last season, as well as a rather more prolific 25-game stint at local rivals Boston United.

The much-travelled striker will be hoping to add to his tally of 77 career goals, having turned out for the likes of Peterborough United, Brentford, Kidderminster, Chester and MK Dons.

The 31-year-old, who tends to play as a foil for other strikers and midfielders, is expected to vie for a place alongside McCallum with fellow new recruit Delroy Facey.

Broughton joined the Imps having being released by losing play-off finalists Rotherham United, and stated the decision to sign was easy due to Chris Sutton.

"I really enjoyed working for him so the decision to come back didn't take much thought," he said.

DELROY FACEY

Delroy Facey
Facey played 10 games for Lincoln on loan from Notts County last season

Like Broughton, Facey has joined the Imps on a one-year deal following a loan stint at Sincil Bank.

The Grenadian international, 30, netted just once for the Imps in nine starts, opening his account with a looping header against Chesterfield in a performance boss Chris Sutton branded "unplayable."

Facey also notched against City last season when he lashed home the third goal as the Imps went down 3-1 to his then-parent club Notts County.

He told BBC Lincolnshire that he was relishing the contest with Broughton to be in Chris Sutton's first team, saying: "Drewe's similar to me, a target man, and there will be good competition for a place."

With Sutton seemingly meeting his requirements for pace and dynamism, fans can be optimistic that Sincil Bank will be graced by flowing, attacking football.

And with more loan signings anticipated, the new-look Lincoln could well be capable of challenging for promotion in League Two next season.



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