White set to sign - but where?
STRIKER Andy White could be ready to sign a new contract - but not necessarily with Mansfield Town.
White, who had also been interesting Conference side Chester City, has been made an improved offer, and manager Keith Curle was waiting on the front man's response.
But the striker is now understood to be also having talks with Bristol Rovers, despite taking part in pre-season training and apparently also confirming at Sunday's Field Mill Open Day, that he and the club had reached an agreement.
Meanwhile Tony Vaughan, who was on loan at Field Mill last season, has now teamed up with the Stags for pre-season training.
Curle, who had been waiting for the former Forest man to make contact, confirmed that the defender had now arrived.
"Like the others who have joined us for training (including Fitzroy Simpson, Chris Zoricich and Dave Attrell), Tony is looking to earn himself a contract," the manager told Chad.
"They all know the financial situation, that there is not a lot of money in football at our level these days, but they are all keen to make a good impression.
"Pre-season training has been going well and is very pleasing - particularly so because we got through the crucial first couple of weeks without any injuries.
"That is testament to how well the players have looked after themselves during the summer.
"Now we're getting ourselves ready to play a few games, and it's looking very good."
Curle declared himself impressed by the showing of the youngsters in their friendly at Teversal on Saturday.
"It was a good opportunity to see our young lads in action, and I thought they looked very sharp in the heat - their fitness was superb," he said.
Today (Wednesday) the Stags' senior players are due to take part in a behind-closed-doors friendly at Rotherham United.
But the fans will have the chance to see the first team squad in action tomorrow and again on Saturday.
Tomorrow night they make the short trip to face the world's oldest football club, Sheffield FC, of the Northern Counties East League.
Supporters intending to travel should note that Sheffield play at the Coach and Horses Ground, Sheffield Road, Dronfield.
Sheffield Road is the main road through the town, and the ground lies behind the Coach and Horses public house, which the club owns.
The first home action, and the pick of the pre-season programme, is on Saturday, when Kevin Keegan's Manchester City - Curle's old club - visit Field Mill.
It is expected that a host of Premiership stars will be on view as City bring their full first team squad - including England goalkeeper David Seaman, who is likely to make his debut for City on the day, since this will be their first pre-season game.
Admission is £10 adults and £5 concessions.
There are then friendly matches scheduled for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.
On Monday the Stags youngsters will be hosted by Central Midlands outfit Forest Town - a ground well known to them by now since they use it for training.
Kick-off is 6.30pm and admission is £2, with children free if accompanied by an adult.
A stronger side is expected to visit UniBond League Premier Division newcomers Alfreton Town on Tuesday night, an occasion which will give Curle the opportunity to run the rule over the Reds' exciting prospect, winger Ryan France, who has attracted the attention of several Nationwide League clubs.
Incidentally, Stags fans may like to know that the Reds' new director of football is none other than former Chesterfield boss Dave Rushbury.
And next Wednesday Mansfield are due to take a side to Northern Counties East League Selby Town - again, a younger squad is likely to fulfil that fixture.
Looking forward to the Rotherham, Sheffield and Manchester City matches, Curle said: "We have only a small squad, so they will all play a part in these three games.
"But what you see as a starting line-up for these matches will not necessarily be that for the opening day of the season."
The manager admitted, though, that he cannot wait to get started, and also perceived that this was true of the fans.
"We had a great response to the Fun Day," he said, "and what came across to me through the positive feedback I have been getting throughout it all is that the supporters have got the disappointment of relegation out of their system.
"It's a fresh start for us all, and the fans are looking forward to the new season every bit as much as we are."
- Former Stags defender Neil Moore has joined Dr Martens League Nuneaton Borough, where he hopes to help them bounce straight back to the Nationwide Conference, from which they were relegated last season.
Meanwhile, former striker David Kelly looks set to be appointed assistant manager at Sheffield United.
Latest | July 2003