If any Villan watched the final chapter of Lincoln City’s much celebrated FA Cup adventure at the Emirates this weekend, they might have seen a familiar face on the Imp’s bench.
Villa defender/midfielder Riccardo Calder had signed for City at the end of last week on loan to the end of the season. This follows his loan stint at Doncaster this season.
The good news for Lincoln City is that Villa will be covering Calder’s wages with the Villans benefiting from having one of their younger players get a first-hand insight into the successful workings of the management team of the Cowley brothers, who have completely turned the fortunes of the Imps around.
Villa had earlier in the season let Lincoln City use Bodymoor Heath for their prematch preparation for their away trip to Forest Green.
Lincoln City currently sit top of the National League, are on the cusp of a trip to Wembley in FA Trophy (if they get through their semi-final with York) and were the first non-league team in over a century to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals.
“Villa gave us Riccardo Calder for free which has really helped us,” said Imps boss Danny Cowley, who’s dramatically turned around the Imps this season.
“We’ve got so many games and we’ve now got cover in every position. Saturday’s game was our 47th game of the season and there’s been some really big ones among them.”
Calder first duty for the Imps was to feature on the bench as part of the squad that travelled to the Emirates for the FA Cup Quarter-final against Arsenal. Lincoln matched the Gunners for the majority of the first-half, before the Premier League team’s class eventually proved too much.
The Villa youth product is expected to make his debut in the FA Trophy semi-final first leg at York on Tuesday night. If the Imps come through the two-legged tie then Calder will have the prospect of visiting Wembley Stadium for the final.
For the young Villan, there’s certainly the potential of it being one hell of a loan period.
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