HAVING watched a trio of his Academy teammates make big first-team breakthroughs last year, John McCombe is hoping this will be his season for success.
The brawny 19-year-old centre-back is determined to make the most of a one-year Galpharm contract and push for a senior call-up by Christmas.
McCombe knows competition in defence is strong, but he's confident Town will do well in Coca-Cola League I this season and he's equally sure he can make the step up.
"I've come back from the summer feeling fit and strong and it's great to be 100% again after missing a lot of last season through injury," said McCombe.
"The injury set me back quite a bit and, towards the end of last season, I was playing games rather than training and it wasn't too good.
"Hopefully, this time, I can play regularly in the Reserves, show the manager and Taff what I can do and maybe break through into the first team by Christmas time.
"It's great to see what has happened to the likes of Andy Holdsworth, Anthony Lloyd and Dave Mirfin, who I came through the Academy with, and if I can follow in their footsteps then that will be brilliant.
"Hopefully it will be my year because I've worked hard to get myself back to full fitness and to be ready for the season and, if you do well at this club, you know the gaffer will give you a chance.
"It's going to be a matter of being stronger and tougher, because the first team is a lot more physical than the Reserves and youth team, and I'll be working on my concentration as well."
McCombe is confident he will shine in the Pontin's Holidays League Division I (East) and has started well against York, Doncaster and Scunthorpe.
"I have done a lot of running in the closed season because doing the weights has never really been a problem for me, and it seems to have paid off," said McCombe, whose brother Jamie has signed for another year at Lincoln.
"I'm keen to play as much as I can in the Reserves this time and I don't think the division will hold any fears for us.
"It's much the same in the Coca-Cola League I. I think we are good enough to make a strong challenge at the top end of the table.
"Not only have we got some good players, but the spirit in the club is really good and has carried on from last season.
"Everyone gets on well with the manager and Terry Yorath, everyone gets on well together and the squad is good.
"It may not be the biggest in the League, but we are strong with cover in each position and capable of doing very well once again."
McCombe believes part of the successful culture at the Galpharm spreads from a willingness of the older players to advise and encourage the younger ones.
"People like Efe Sodje and Steve Yates have been tremendous in talking to me during games while in training, the likes of Andy Booth, Tony Carss and Robbie Edwards are always willing to chat.
"Martyn Booty has been a big help in the Reserves and I still find time to go and see Gerry Murphy and John Dungworth at the Academy, so there's never a shortage of people to talk to when you want to have a chat about things.
"The gaffer and Taff are just the same. If you show them you can do well they will give you a chance, and that's really good to know."