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Ex Imp Joins Town In The Army

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 04/07/2005

RELEASED Lincoln City midfielder Ciaran Toner has travelled with Grimsby Town to their boot camp this week teaming up with the Mariners in a bid to impress boss Russell Slade.

Russell Slade told the Grimsby Telegraph; "Ciaran is training with us this week and we'll see how he gets on. I'm still looking for numbers in midfield and he is out-of-contract at Lincoln. If he does okay, he may get a run out next week in one of the friendly matches."

Lincoln City Mad says about Toner; "Ciaran Toner signed on the eve of the 2004/05 season and promised to bring 'a bit of quality on the ball' to the Imps midfield. He may have needed reminding that the aforementioned skill was already present in Peter Gain, but Toner set about his job professionally.

He'd previously represented Northern Ireland at Under 21 international, but despite his pedigree he failed to dislodge either Gain or Richard Butcher. An injury to Gain late in 2004 gave Toner the chance he'd craved and he grasped it with both hands. He netted two goals in wins against Grimsby and Mansfield as well as turning in some classy and gutsy performances. He was last seen playing against Oxford Utd in a sound 3-0 hammering at Sincil Bank.

Shortly before the dismal 2-0 defeat at Rochdale Toner was involved in an 'incident' with fellow Imp Marcus Richardson. Toner required hospital treatment and Richardson was farmed out on loan to Rochdale pending an internal investigation. Toners Imps career was suddenly put into limbo.

Then in early March 2005 Toner found his Imps career ended. Keith Alexadner publicly announced neither of the disgraced duo would play for the Imps again. Not wanting to air dirty linen in public the details of the assualt were kept a closely guarded secret, but rumour was rife of Toner being involved in an incident of a racial nature. Furthermore it was becoming apparent that Toner wasn't a greatly liked member of the squad. His two Under 21 caps had him believing he should be appearing at a higher level than Lincoln City. That higher level swiftly became a lower level as he signed for Steve Thompsons Cambridge side on March 18th. Its unlikely he'll return to Sincil Bank as a Lincoln player."

Squad Number:
Position: Midfield
Place of Birth: Craigavon
Date Of Birth: 30/ 06/ 1981
Height: 6'1
Weight: 12st 2lbs

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