Lincoln City endured a difficult 2021/22 season in League One, failing to capitalise on their play-off final appearance the campaign prior, and they finished 17th.
Relegation never seemed like a realistic possibility under Michael Appletion, but it was a shame that they were not able to at least push up towards mid table, given the quality in the squad and some of their performances.
Appleton has since departed with Mark Kennedy leaving a coaching role at Birmingham City to take the reins.
The former Republic of Ireland international explained the lure of Lincoln when he spoke to The Athletic.
He said: “Lincoln is really attractive for players from high-end academies because of the type of football we play, the investment that goes into the facilities and the pitch.
“There’s a clear vision on what we want to do here, how we want to play through the lines as a possession-based team.
“I’ve worked at some big clubs and we’re already doing a lot of what they do but they just have more money and finances.
“It’s that standard of professionalism that stood out to me.
“I had a very good job in the Championship but it was really a very easy decision to make because of the process that I went through to get this job.”
Utilisation of the loan market is huge in the EFL, with five smart additions able to completely change the course of a club’s season.
Quiz: 23 things literally every Lincoln City fan should know – But do you?
When the Imps made their way to Wembley in 2020/21, shrewd loan signings like Brennan Johnson and Morgan Rogers made an enormous difference and lifted the level of those around to compete for a place in the Championship.
Kennedy definitely sounds keen to use that achievement as a blueprint to overachieve, compared to where they sit in the third tier financially, with some more big hitters coming down from the second tier.
It is an exciting role to take on for Kennedy, with Lincoln showing their class against some of the better teams in the division in the second half of the campaign, do that against the sides they are favourites to beat and an improvement next term should be realised.