Blue Square Bet
Published 26th May 2012
Highly-rated centre back Andrew Boyce has penned a deal with Lincoln that will run until the end of the 2012/13 season.
Most recently with Conference North play-off finalists Gainsborough Trinity, Boyce, 22, started out as a youngster with Doncaster Rovers and after progressing through their academy set up, was offered his first professional contract at the end of the 2007/08 season.
As a teenager he found first team opportunities at the Keepmoat limited. However, although he did feature in their pre-season campaign, most notably in a fixture against Manchester City.
Loaned out to Worksop Town in a bid to gain valuable experience, his contract with Doncaster was cancelled by mutual consent in January 2009 and having appeared for Mansfield Town's reserves towards the end of the 2008/09 season, he signed for King`s Lynn following a successful trial.
Following the demise of King`s Lynn, Boyce was snapped up by Gainsborough in December 2009 and became an important part of their squad which came close to securing promotion from the Conference North last season.
As Boyce is under the age of 24, Gainsborough are entitled to a compensation fee and as such the two clubs are currently locked in discussions with regards to this figure.
Former loanee goalkeeper Paul Farman also penned a permanent deal with the club that will run until the end of the 2012/13 season.
England `C` international Farman played eight times for the Imps last season on loan from Gateshead, keeping two clean sheets in the process, before a groin strain forced his return to the north east.
Farman, 22, started his career as a youngster with Newcastle United and joined Blyth Spartans following spells at Monkseaton Academy and Washington. He signed for Gateshead in the summer of 2009.
Involved with the England `C` squad prior to his loan move to Sincil Bank last year, he made a further nine appearances for Gateshead following his return and was one of eleven players released by their manager Ian Bogie at the end of the season.
Striker Rob Duffy has also joined, with the former Welsh under-21 international penning a deal with the Imps which will run until May 2013.
Duffy, who spent last season with Grimsby Town having joined the Mariners in January 2011, links up with manager David Holdsworth for a second time, having scored regularly under his tutelage whilst at Mansfield Town.
The Swansea-born goal-getter has bags of experience at Conference level, most notably with Oxford United for whom he finished top scorer for in the 2006/07 season with 19 goals from 39 appearances.
Prior to Oxford the 29-year-old played for Rushden & Diamonds, Cambridge United, Kettering Town, Gainsborough Trinity and Stevenage Borough whilst he joined Mansfield following six months at Newport County.
Experienced midfielder Gary Mills has signed a one-year deal.
Mills, who turned 31 earlier this week, was recently part of the Nuneaton Town squad that secured promotion from the Conference North via the play-offs and has penned a deal which will run until May 2013.
The Isle of Sheppy-born midfielder started his career at Rushden & Diamonds and made his first-team debut as a teenager in August 1999.
A member of the Diamonds' team that won the Conference title in 2001, Mills established himself as a first choice midfielder during the club's successful first few seasons in the Football League.
Leaving Rushden shortly before they were relegated back to the Conference in 2006, he spent the first half of the following season at Crawley Town before returning to the Diamonds on a short-term deal.
A brief spell with Tamworth followed before he helped Kettering to the Conference North title in 2008 and Stevenage Borough to the FA Trophy in 2009.
Rejecting the offer of a new deal with Stevenage, Mills was signed by Holdsworth at Mansfield Town, going on to play forty-six times for the Stags, before having a third spell at Rushden and a short stint at Bath City before spending the second half of last season at Nuneaton.
Lincoln`s first signing of the summer was vastly-experienced defender Ashley Westwood.
Having finished last season as player/caretaker-manager of Kettering Town, Westwood started his career at Manchester United and was part of their FA Youth Cup winning side of 1995 before making his name at Crewe Alexandra.
Helping the Railwaymen to promotion to the First Division in 1996/97, he signed for Bradford City in the summer of 1998 and played 19 times as the Bantams were promoted to the Premier League for the first time in their history.
After only a handful of appearances in the top flight, the Bridgnorth-born defender moved to Sheffield Wednesday following a successful loan spell and helped the Owls reach the League Cup semi-finals during his three seasons at Hillsborough.
An injury-hit spell at Northampton Town followed and having played for Chester City and Stevenage Borough either side of loans with Swindon Town and Port Vale, Westwood went on to spend two seasons with Wrexham.
Appearing for the Imps' reserves against Nottingham Forest in October 2008, he later had a brief stint at Kettering and returned to both Crewe and Northampton on short-term deals before going back to Kettering in January as their temporary manager following the departure of Mark Cooper, who walked out due to the ongoing financial problems at the club.
The 35-year-old, who holds a UEFA 'A' Coaching licence, has penned a deal with City that will run until May 2013.