Danny Cowley’s Last Lincoln City Line-Up – Where Are They Now?

He may not have been appointed for a second spell in charge of Lincoln City but Danny Cowley was reported to be among the front runners for the job after his incredibly successful first spell in charge. His last match of that spell came away from home at Wycombe Wanderers on September 7th 2019 with the Imps ending up on the wrong side of the 3-1 score line. Below are the 11 players who started for City that day.

Josh Vickers

Goalkeeper Vickers began his career at Arsenal before moving to Swansea City. As a youngster, he enjoyed loan spells at Canvey Island, Concord Rangers and Barnet before eventually joining newly promoted League Two outfit Lincoln City.

Vickers’ time at Sincil Bank was interrupted by injury but he was part of a side who won the Checkatrade Trophy and the League Two title. He would be released at the end of the 2019-20 season after it was prematurely halted due to Covid.

Vickers would sign for Championship outfit Rotherham United where he would win another Football League Trophy medal and work with his current Derby County manager Paul Warne.

Neal Eardley

The former Welsh international full-back started at Oldham Athletic and made almost 130 appearances for the Latics before switching to Blackpool where he would experience Premier League football.

After leaving the Tangerines, an injury-hit time at Birmingham City was followed by short spells with Hibernian and Northampton Town. Eardley would then join Lincoln City as they embarked on their first season back in the Football League in 2017 and would be a regular in the full-back position until his release at the end of the Covid-impacted 2019-20 season.

The former Premier League man wound down his playing career with Burton Albion, Barrow and Welsh outfit Connah’s Quay Nomads before taking up his current role of managing Blackpool’s Under 18s.

Harry Toffolo

Toffolo was the other full-back on duty at Wycombe and his career continued on an upward trajectory since the Cowleys left City.

The England Under 20 International started his career at Norwich City and would spend time on loan at Swindon Town, Rotherham, Peterborough United and Scunthorpe United before a short-lived permanent move to Millwall. 

From there he linked up with the Cowleys for the first time and helped the Imps to the League Two title before following the brothers to Huddersfield Town. In the summer of 2022, the defender would join Premier League new boys Nottingham Forest in a double move with teammate Lewis O’Brien.

Michael Bostwick

It is safe to say that Michael Bostwick became a huge fan favourite and cult hero during his stay at Sincil Bank after his somewhat surprising signing from Peterborough

Bostwick began at Millwall but made his name in the Stevenage team that went from the Conference to the League One playoffs in successive seasons. He attracted interest from clubs higher up the pyramid and would eventually join Championship outfit Peterborough in a move worth around half a million pounds. 

After almost 230 matches for The Posh, he would join City along with teammate Harry Anderson. He was one of the first names on the team sheet whether it be in midfield or defence and would help the club to the Checkatrade Trophy and League Two titles. 

Bostwick left Lincoln at the end of the 2019-20 season, joining Burton Albion before a return to Stevenage where he would again earn promotion to League One. The defender now turns out for Boston United in the National League North.

Jason Shackell

Before joining the Imps, defender Shackell had spent his entire career playing across the top two divisions of English football. 

He is the second player in this team who began his career with Norwich and would go on to represent Wolverhampton Wanderers, Doncaster Rovers, Barnsley, Derby, Burnley and Millwall before arriving at Sincil Bank.

Transfermarkt has Shackell down as costing around £7.5 million in transfer fees throughout his career as he earned a Championship winners medal with Wolves and made 49 appearances in the Premier League across his time at Norwich and Burnley. 

His signing was a coup for City as he would settle in alongside Bostwick as the club went on to win the League Two title. Following his departure from the club under Michael Appleton, it is difficult to find any updates on the whereabouts of the former central defender!

Michael O’Connor

Recently retired midfield man O’Connor came through Crewe Alexandra’s youth set-up and had a short loan spell at Sincil Bank before securing Championship football with Scunthorpe United. 

Moves to Rotherham, Port Vale and Notts County would precede his arrival at Sincil Bank on a permanent basis as the club began their second season back in League Two. The Northern Irish international was a key figure as the Imps went on to win the division and earn promotion to League One. 

He would leave the Imps in January for Salford City only for the season to be curtailed a couple of months later and would see O’Connor heading to Glenavon of the Northern Ireland Premiership where he would end his playing career.

Callum Connolly

Connolly is an Under 20 World Cup winner and spent a very brief spell on loan at Sincil Bank from Premier League club Everton. 

The defensive midfield man only experienced many loan spells while with the Goodison Park outfit, representing Barnsley, Wigan Athletic, Ipswich Town, Bolton Wanderers and then the Imps.

After the departure of Danny Cowley, Connolly returned to Everton and was loaned out to League One rivals Fleetwood Town for a season and a half. Currently, the 26-year-old turns out for Blackpool having signed a permanent deal in the summer of 2021. 

Jorge Grant

Nottingham Forest youth product Jorge Grant was a surprising arrival at Sincil Bank in the summer of 2019 and became a key player under Cowley’s replacement Michael Appleton as the club reached the playoff final the following year.

Before arriving in LN5, Grant had played 20 times for Forest and enjoyed loans at Notts County, Luton Town and Mansfield Town, being part of the Luton side that won the League One title.

The 28-year-old had a fantastic spell at Notts County with 37 goal involvements from 73 games and his Lincoln City form of 43 goal involvements from 89 matches attracted Championship outfit Peterborough United.

Following a season with the Posh, Grant went north of the border to join Heart of Midlothian where he has experienced European football but currently faces a battle for a regular starting spot.

Jack Payne

Payne was something of a coup having played Championship football with Huddersfield Town and had a decent season on loan at Bradford City the year before. 

The attacking midfielder played 30 times for City but never seemed to fit what new boss Appleton wanted and would leave for Swindon after just one season. Payne’s form, particularly the 13 goals and five assists in his second season attracted the interest of League One side Charlton Athletic. 

The 29-year-old appeared 54 times for The Addicks before joining MK Dons on loan this August. With former Lincoln boss Appleton now in charge at The Valley, Payne’s future is perhaps uncertain.

Bruno Andrade

Andrade began his career at Queens Park Rangers and even made an appearance in the Premier League. He also spent time out on loan with Aldershot, Wycombe Wanderers and Stevenage. 

Having left Loftus Road permanently for Woking, the Portuguese winger hit form at Boreham Wood in the National League. His second season saw 32 goal involvements in 45 league matches and a further two goals in an unsuccessful playoff campaign. This form brought him to the attention of Danny Cowley.

Andrade left Sincil Bank in January 2020 for Salford along with O’Connor. The move didn’t work out as planned and he went on to return to both Stevenage and Boreham Wood before playing three times for Maidenhead United. Recently he has signed for Southern Premier South side Chesham United in a move that few would have predicted.

Tyler Walker

Walker had a brilliant loan spell at Sincil Bank during the first part of the 2019-20 season, notching 14 goals before his recall to parent club Nottingham Forest in January.

Aside from his loan at City, Walker also enjoyed temporary spells at Burton Albion, Stevenage, Port Vale, Bolton Wanderers and a goal-laden spell at Mansfield Town. Eventually, the striker would leave the City Ground permanently and head for Coventry City where he would score 12 goals in 72 matches.

The summer of 2023 saw Walker return to Lincoln City on what is believed to be a contract until 2025. City fans will be desperate for the frontman to regain his fitness and hit the form he showed in his previous spell.

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