CHRIS GREENACRE INTERVIEW
Steve Fleming has conducted an interview with ex-Stags striker Chris Greenacre and has very kindly let Stagnet use it. Chrissie speaks of his time at Field Mill, his injuries and his future.
Click the link below to download the mp3 of the interview. Alternatively right click and choose "save as" to download the clip to your hard drive.
Big thanks go out to Steve for letting us use the interview and Craig for the file conversion.
Text version below.
Thanks to Carole for the transcription.
Q. Tell us about Chris Greenacre post Mansfield.
Chris. Well I had my chance to come here to Stoke. It was my chance to come and play at first division level. It was difficult towards the end of my time at Mansfield, as there was a lot of speculation, and people kept saying I'd signed pre-contracts here and there, complete rubbish. It put a bit of pressure on me, but I got my chance to come to Stoke, and Steve Cotterill brought me here, but unfortunately didn't stay too long. I got a bad injury on my left ankle in the last pre-season game at West Brom, which set me out. I was out for 3½ nearly 4 months, which was about the longest I've ever been out injured in my career, so it was quite a bad injury and I felt as though I was chasing a lot of the season, getting back to how I was. In pre-season I did ok, scored quite a few goals just where I left off leaving Mansfield really, then this season the new managers had a lot more leeway, in bringing players in. I think he was limited when he first came here, and he has brought in some quality strikers Gifton Noel - Williams, Carl Asaba, Adi Akinbye.
Q. It's begging the question Chris, where are you in the pecking order?
Chris. Today I was fourth choice, it's difficult to swallow, but you know, after the result today I can't really complain, so it's one of them really, but it is disappointing.
Q. Do you see a long term future at Stoke?
Chris. Well I have 18 months on my contract left, and the manager's spoke to me and told me that I'm still part of his plans here so while ever I'm part of his plans I've got to be happy.
Q. Can we go back to just before you were leaving Mansfield, can you iron out some sort of home truths about the incident involving Wigan Athletic? We all thought you were going to Wigan.
Chris. Well, basically, Wigan wanted me before the Leicester game, that we played in the FA cup, and Mansfield wanted to hold onto me, and wanted me to play in that game, and then there was some confusion then. The fee that Wigan were going to pay, they wanted to pay X amount of pounds before that deadline day of the Leicester game, and after that they weren't willing to pay as much. Basically then the transfer fee, I think it got upped by whoever, I don't know, but it got upped and that's how it stood, I had no say but the deal was off and that was it.
Q. At any stage was it a financial decision in the end personally to come to Stoke?
Chris. No not at all, first and foremost I learnt that when I went to Mansfield, the most important thing when I left Man city was to be playing football. Like now, that's all I want to do is play football. Obviously wages are going to improve, moving to the first division, but you want to play at the highest level you possibly can first and foremost. The way the Nationwide's gone now there is people not on 10 grand a week in this division because the football league is not allowing it. Wages have improved, that's part and parcel of playing in the first division, but first and foremost it is football on my agenda.
Q. Come 10 to 5 Chris, what is the first result you look for?
Chris. Definitely Mansfield. It's strange as I still have a lot of friends there, and I keep in touch with a lot of the lads, and keep the goings on. Sometimes when I go back to my parents in Yorkshire, I put 103.2 on and listen to the fans phone in, so my hearts still at Mansfield. I've still got a lot of friends there. The fans were absolutely fantastic to me, and if anybody ever asks me about the fans, or what was the club like, I always give them a mention because they were absolutely fantastic to me. At times they have bent over backwards for me and I can't ever forgive them enough, they've just been fantastic.
Q. Any particular players that you keep in touch with?
Chris. Kev Pilkington, Leroy Williamson, Liam Lawrence, so there is a handful of players there. Obviously you send your regards and whatever, but I hope they get back up to the second division, that's where they deserve to be. I'm not sure how the results gone on actually so you'll have to let me know.
Q. Have you heard good things about the recent manager Keith Curle, he's took over and although he got relegated, he's got them back on track?
Chris. Yeah, definitely,
Q. In fact I do apologise Chris, you played with him I believe at Manchester City?
Chris. Yes I was a first year pro as Curley was team captain. As a player he was fantastic, got so much pace, read the game really well, that's why he got his England caps. I've heard that the lads are quite impressed with what he is doing at Mansfield. I think he was always going to go into that managerial role, cos he's a leader, he was a leader on the pitch, and I think that can only rub off on his players. Yes he is a good manager.
Q. What's the word in the Nationwide amongst the players, what type of football does Mansfield play? Is there anybody ever says anything to you?
Chris. I hear a lot of things. Apart from this disciplinary problems, no, a lot of teams have always said that they have always been impressed with the Mansfield team. They have got the players who are footballers, they have got out and out footballers, people renown the third division for long ball, but I think that's changing a lot, I think Mansfield typify, you know, I think there are teams in this division, the first division that would like to be able to play like Mansfield can play.
Q. I tell you what Chris, lets go back, you tell what is your greatest ever memory while playing for Mansfield Town, something that stands out?
Chris. Promotion without a doubt. It was the first medal I'd won in the game and to do it at Mansfield was fantastic. I'm getting goose pimples now just thinking about when Wayne Corden scored, I think it was the first goal, and we could hear pockets of the crowd suddenly cheering cos I think Plymouth had gone one nil up, then they went two nil up, I've goose pimples now, just playing in that game against Carlisle, the ball would come to you and you would just stroke it off cos you were thinking we had got promotion here, and then when that final whistle went and all the fans came on the pitch, erm, it was just unbelievable. I think the only thing that was done wrong about the end of that, was that the following sort of Monday and stuff, players who had got promotion, were sort of told that they weren't going to be part of the future of the club. Then they were asking for people to go to dinners and all that kind of thing. Lads have just got promotion and are feeling on top of the world, and suddenly, back down with a bump; sorry you've got no future here. Then asking those players to then go and meet people and all that lot, I just think that was the only sour bit I had about leaving Mansfield.
Q. I've got to ask you then, regrets I've had a few?
Chris. Erm, well I loved playing there, I really did enjoy my time there, it was fantastic. As I said before, the fans, but at times when I've not been playing here I've thought I might have still been playing at Mansfield, but things change and time moves on. I'd like to think that sometime in my career that I might end up playing there again sometime, that would be nice, that would be a nice finish.
Q. That is my last question, Someday, you are gonna surely going to end up back at the Stags?
Chris. You know, I mean, I've heard people and I'm very flattered that people have said that they would like me to go back and stuff, and one day I hope that happens, but we don't know what's round the corner at the moment. I'm still under contract at Stoke, and people have looked after me here while I've been here, but never say never.
Chris, thanks and on behalf of all the Mansfield fans I hope we see you back at Field Mill before the end of your playing career. Thanks Chris.
Chris. Thank you
Latest | March 2004