MURRAY BACK AT STAGS
The Chad - Murray back at the Mill
FIELD Mill terrace hero Adam Murray is back at Mansfield Town for the new season after signing a two-year deal this afternoon
The 22-year-old midfield ace was an instant hero with Stags fans when his seven goals in 13 games, while on loan from Derby County, helped shoot Mansfield to promotion two seasons ago.
However, his career his stuttered since then due to personal problems.
But Stags manager Keith Curle is confident he can resurrect the England Youth international's highly promising career.
Murray still had a year to go on his current deal at Kidderminster Harriers. But the cash-strapped West Midlanders have allowed him to come to Field Mill on a free.
His arrival has given Stags a timely boost just four days after losing star winger Liam Lawrence to First Division Sunderland and two days before the start of pre-season training tomorrow (Thursday).
"I am delighted to bring Adam here," said Curle.
"Adam is taking a substantial drop in wages to join us but believes that working with myself and John Gannon can kickstart his career again.
"He needs a new challenge like some of the players that have left Field Mill this summer and this is a chance to realign his focus.
Murray was a fringe player at Derby County when he made a huge impact on loan at Field Mill.
He returned to Derby but, still unable to command a regular place, went to Kidderminster on loan in late August last year.
Man of the match in his first game there he returned to Derby after just three games as personal problems took over and, after being released from his Derby contract in November, he had brief spells at Burton Albion, Solihull Borough, and Notts County before signing an 18-month deal back at Kidderminster in time to play in their defeat at Field Mill in January.
The departure of the ambitious Lawrence for Wearside on Friday was disappointing if not entirely predictable.
"We wish him well," said Curle. "We made him a fantastic offer to stay here - a financially rewarding three-year deal - but he has chosen to further his career at Sunderland.
"Now I just hope we get a realistic valuation for him at a tribunal which I hope will happen as soon as possible.
"We had already agreed a fee with Leeds United for him in excess of £200,000.
"After that broke down, Cardiff and Crewe expressed an interest and then Sunderland came in and put an offer in writing to our chairman.
"Unfortunately he was out the country but the offer was verbally rejected and permission not granted for them to speak to the player.
"I believe, under the terms of Liam's contract, he was our player until 1st July and, while not wanting to stand in his way, things should be done properly and the next thing we knew, Liam and his agent had spoken to Sunderland, agreed a contract and it was all done and dusted.
"I don't want to create a rift over it but Sunderland will be aware of his vaulation and I have a figure in my head that would be acceptable and which my chairman will allow me to use for other players."
Curle had hoped to unveil six new signings. But with players, managers and chairmen on holidays, it is taking longer than hoped.
"I am happy to wait for the right players," said Curle. "I won't just rush out and sign anyone.
"Last year it was 10 days before the start of the season before Luke Dimech and Dave Artell came here. I know who I want and I will stay patient.
"I am optimistic this could be the club's best season for many years with the players I want to bring in."
Neil MacKenzie has put pen to paper on a one-year deal and Tom Curtis on a two-year deal.
Adam Eaton has also signed for two years as have Dave Artell and Jason White while Luke Dimech and Jake Buxton have signed one year deals.
That just leaves two-year deals for Lee Williamson and Rhys Day on the table and Curle wants answers from them by Thursday.
Of others leaving the Mill, Craig Disley has been unveiled at Bristol Rovers and, subject to his medical, Junior Mendes is joining Huddersfield.
"Craig was offered a new deal here," said Curle. "But he declined the offer in writing and, as it was less money than his previous contract, he effectively went on a free.
"He told me he has been offered a very lucrative deal at Bristol Rovers and we wish him well.
"He has been a good servant here but it was time to move on for a new challenge.
"Junior also declined his offer. I could not get anywhere near what Huddersfield have offered him and, no disrespect to the player, if I could have matched it I would not have paid that sort of money to Junior Mendes."
The players will be back in training tomorrow and assessed physically and mentally by West Notts College's Ian Freeman to compare to figures from pre, mid and post-season last time around.
"We finished last season as one of the fittest clubs in the division," said Curle. "We showed our physical and mental toughness all the way to the wire and were not found wanting. I want that again."
Pre-season action begins at St Blazey a week tomorrow.
Ben Doane, on loan at Field Mill from Sheffield United last year, has had to retire from football after failing to recover from a badly damaged ankle.
Harriers' hopes for the coming season have been dealt a blow this afternoon with Mansfield Town announcing the capture of Adam Murray.
Despite the fact that he has another year left to run on his contract, Harriers have allowed him to leave for nothing "for financial reasons". Boss Jan Molby told the official website, "First and foremost we have let Adam leave for financial reasons. There has been interest from a couple of clubs for Adam and we just felt, with the money saved on his wages, we could best use that in strengthening the side in other departments".
Curle brings first of the incoming
Keith Curle made his first new acquisition this afternoon with the successful signing of Adam Murray from Kidderminster Harriers.
Few will need reminding of the sterling job the youngster did for us whilst on loan from Derby County during our promotion season 2001/02.
Adam who was on a two year contract at Kidderminster agreed a substantial drop in wages to return to Field mill as he enjoyed his time here and believes that Keith Curle and John Gannon are the management pairing to get his career back on track.
Adam was delighted to be returning to Field mill saying:
"It's good to be back. I enjoyed my time at Mansfield the last time I was here and have wanted to come back for some time but the opportunity never arose. I am confident that Keith (Curle) and John (gannon) are the the people to help me get my career back on track and I hope I can do them justice."
Keith Curle added:
"I am very pleased to have bagged Adam he has a good infinity with the club when he was here before, the fans loved him and his team mates respected him. Adam shouldn't be playing third division football and I feel very lucky to have him here. The lad has got an abundance of talent an di will doing my bit to get it out of him"
STAGS RETURN FOR LIVEWIRE MURRAY
Next Story | Previous Story | Back to list
12:00 - 30 June 2004
Mansfield Town boss Keith Curle today spoke of his delight at making former Stags favourite Adam Murray his first summer signing.
The 22-year-old midfielder, whose seven goals from 13 games helped the club to promotion to the Second Division two seasons ago, has signed a two-year contract.
Curle said: "Adam is the first one we have managed to get on board and I'm very pleased.
"He is my type of player. He likes to play but he also works hard and gets stuck in.
"He's got plenty of aggression but he enjoys his football and that is what we want.
"Adam has had his problems but sees this as a chance to put all that behind him.
"He had a fantastic time when he was at the club before and he wants to remember those good times again.
"That's one of the reasons why he has come here and he will be the first one of many players to come in."
Murray still had a year of his Kidderminster Harriers deal to go but the West Midlands club have had to let him go because of financial problems.
Former Derby County player Murray had a spell at Notts County under Billy Dearden last season.
He is looking to get his career back on track after addiction problems.
The signing will boost Stags fans who have seen three popular players depart since the play-off final defeat against Huddersfield Town last month.
Liam Lawrence has joined Coca-Cola Championship side Sunderland while Bobby Hassell and Craig Disley have moved to Barnsley and Bristol Rovers respectively.
Striker Junior Mendes was expected to sign for Huddersfield today.
Curle said watching players leave had been part of the learning process as he enters his third season at the helm.
"One of my old managers told me that I shouldn't panic when the summer came," he said. "But I was thinking about when I could ring him up and ask him when would be a good time to do just that!
"Last year, I had a lot of players but now things are a bit different and I have to rebuild.
"There are other deals I am looking to finalise during the rest of this week."
One that has already been completed is the signing of midfielder Neil MacKenzie, who has agreed to stay at Field Mill for another year.
Latest | July 2004