With Lincoln City currently leading the way in the National League at Christmas, ElWriteBack speaks to young goalkeeper Richard Walton about how he is finding life as a professional.
Richard Walton is a product of the Lincoln City Academy which has produced players such as Scott Loach and Jack Hobbs.
Walton completed his youth scholarship in the summer of 2016 which lead to him signing his first professional contract with The Imps.
With previous experience to his name as a loanee with Lincoln United, Walton was given his first senior squad call up when he was an unused substitute against Aldershot Town in November 2015.
2016 hasn’t been the best year for the young goalkeeper as he was struck with injury.
When speaking to ElWriteBack about how he is finding life with The Imps’ first team, Walton said: “Turning from a youth to a pro at the club hasn’t been a massive change as I trained with the first team throughout my time as a youth player.
“The biggest change has been brought in by the gaffer and all the new staff with their professionalism which I have really enjoyed.”
One member of staff who has joined the club is former West Ham and Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper, Jimmy Walker who is now a player-coach at Sincil Bank.
When questioned about his goalkeeper coach, Walton went on to say: “I haven’t had the 2016 I wanted because of injury, but Jimmy has played at the highest level and I have made adjustments to my technique which has improved me through his coaching.”
Another individual who Walton now works with on a daily basis is first team goalkeeper, Paul Farman who recently made his 300th appearance for the club.
Walton spoke highly of Farman saying: “I have trained with Paul since the age of 14 as a school boy.
“He is a very good professional in training and that brings out a better standard in me.
“I know that if I need advice I can ask Paul, I’ve had a few injury set backs which he has given me advice through.”
With Lincoln City currently looking hot favourites for promotion back to the Football League after a five year absence, the young goalkeeper spoke about how he would feel about becoming a Football League player: “Being a Football League player would mean a lot, but I’m first aimed at being injury free and playing regular football.”