Gainsborough Trinity to give Lincoln City a tough pre-season test
Andrew Boyce is relishing the chance to face his old Gainsborough pals this weekend and backed them to give Lincoln their toughest pre-season test.
The towering centre-back will be reunited with his former team-mates on Saturday when they lock horns for the club's Community Day fixture.
Boyce only moved to Lincoln from Trinity in May for a fee which is set to be decided by a tribunal next month.
The former Doncaster defender has fond memories of the Blues where he helped lead them to the Blue Square Bet North play-off final last season.
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Boyce took in Trinity's game against Mansfield last week and he says Lincoln should be prepared for one of their toughest tests of pre-season.
"I still have a lot of friends there which is why I went to watch them against Mansfield," he said.
"They did very well, in fact I thought they looked quality and you would have struggled to know which team was from the Conference Premier.
"They bopped it about well and it's the best I've seen them play to be honest with me in the side or not.
"They seem to be doing a lot better since I left.
"But seriously they looked very useful and it will be good to have a look at them against us because they will give us a very tough game."
Boyce's stock rose considerably at Gainsborough who signed him from King's Lynn when their financial problems began to take hold.
He soon became a hit at the Northolme helping the club to the Blue Square North play-off final last season when they lost 1-0 to Nuneaton.
But his performances convinced David Holdsworth to make a move for the defender who he released during his time managing Mansfield.
And Boyce says any player faced with dropping down football's pyramid should not presume it is the end.
"There will be lots of players who have been released and faced with the prospect of going into non-league," he said.
"Everybody seems to think you have to be in the Football League or the Conference, but it's not like that.
"My advice to any player who has dropped into non-league is don't think your career is over because it certainly is not.
"If anything it can give you that desire and hunger to reach those levels again and the standard in non-league is improving all the time.
"If you put the work in, somebody will come along and give you a chance
"And for me, this is the first time I have been given the opportunity to play at this level and I'm determined to do well."
Boyce's Lincoln career has already got off to an impressive start and he notched his first goal with a towering header in the 4-2 win against Eastwood.
He believes set-pieces will be a valuable resource to the Imps this season.
"Scoring goals from set-pieces will be important and we have some big lads who can head the ball," he said.
"Sam Smith can head the ball, I like to think I can head the ball and I think that is where we are going to get a few goals this season.
"We have players who can deliver a very good ball into the box. Nicky Nicolau, Alan Power and Gary Mills can put quality into good places.
"I know the gaffer wants to be strong at set-pieces and it's something we have been working on in training and we've shown it is beginning to really pay off."