DESTINY RESTS AT HOME
Evening Post, 07 February 2006
Hard-working midfielder Jonathan D'Laryea today explained why he was happy to swap Premiership Manchester City for League Two strugglers Mansfield Town.
The 20-year-old signed a permanent contract with the Stags last week - keeping him at Field Mill until the summer of 2008 - after impressing in a three-month loan spell.
That came as a surprise to many fans who thought D'Laryea had returned to the City of Manchester Stadium for good to fight for a place in Stuart Pearce's side.
But D'Laryea insists it was not a hard decision to join Peter Shirtliff's side - despite being at City since 2003.
"When Manchester City called me back, I thought they had immediate plans for me, so I was ready to push for a place in their first team," he said.
"Then I heard Mansfield had made a bid and I was surprised when Stuart Pearce accepted it but I didn't see coming here as a bad thing.
"In reality, I wasn't a Premiership player at Manchester City because I was in the reserves and the standard is far inferior.
"Stuart Peace did not force me out, he said I could stay and fight for my place if I wanted.
"But this is a chance to further my career. I didn't want to just go back to City and start playing reserve football again.
"I can only see it as a learning curve at Mansfield. I am only going to better myself as a player by coming here."
The value Peter Shirtliff places on D'Laryea has clearly been shown by the lengths he went to in signing the player.
"It is nice to feel wanted by people at the club but you can't rest on your laurels - you still have to keep working hard," said Manchester-born D'Laryea, nicknamed "Dairylea" by his team-mates.
"There are other players in the squad in my position and I have to do well when I get my chance to stay in the first team.
"I'm enjoying it at Mansfield on a whole host of levels. I'm enjoying my football, my friendship with the other players and I like the town as well - I'm looking for a house here at the moment.
"I don't know what will happen in the future. Every young player has big ambitions to play in the Premier League, but I'm happy playing here at the moment."
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