JOHN MULLINS SIGNS FROM READING
NEW STAGS STAR IS MR VERSATILITY
Evening Post, 02 June 2006
Mansfield have made utility man John Mullins their first signing of the summer.
The 21-year-old defender or midfielder has joined on a two-year deal after being released by Reading at the end of last season.
Hampstead-born Mullins has spent much of the last two seasons on loan at Kidderminster Harriers.
He was part of the side - along with Stags striker Chris Beardsley - that went down to the Conference in 2005.
"I wasn't going to be figuring much in the Reading side so I see the move to Mansfield as nothing but positive," said Mullins.
"I was on loan at Kidderminster when they got relegated which wasn't too good but I am looking forward to playing in the Football League again.
"I do not know a great deal about Mansfield Town, but I do know a few of the lads and I can't wait to get started.
"When the gaffer (Peter Shirtliff) contacted me I was delighted at the opportunity to come back into League football as I wasn't sure what was going to happen at Reading. Hopefully I will bring some quality to the side. I have a lot of energy and want to do well."
Shirtliff is delighted with his capture.
"I am pleased about signing John as I think he is going to be an asset to the club," he said.
"He can play anywhere across the defence and in midfield although I have brought him in for the right-back role.
"I think he will bring some quality and he is a consistent player who arrives at Field Mill with a good pedigree.
"At Reading they do a lot of good work in the coaching of players and, at 21, he is the right age for this football club.
"He has experience but he still has room to grow."
Mullins joined Reading as a trainee in July 2004 but did not make a first team appearance during his time there.
He made 46 appearances at Kidderminster and scored four goals.
Shirtliff lands new defender
CHAD website, 31 May 2006
Stags' boss Peter Shirtliff today acquired the first name on his hit list.
Reading full back John Mullins put pen to paper on a contract that will see the versatile 20-year-old plying his trade at Field Mill for the next two years.
Mullins, released from Reading this season, is looking forward to the challenge of Division Two football after having a brief taster with Kidderminster Harriers before they were relegated to the Conference.
And doesn't see the move to Mansfield as a drop from glory.
"I wasn't going to be figuring much in the Reading side so I see the move to Mansfield as nothing but positive," he said.
"I was at loan with Kidderminster when they got relegated which wasn't to good but I am looking forward to playing in the Football league again.
"I do not know a great deal about Mansfield Town but I do know a few of the lads and I can't wait to get started.
"When the gaffer (Peter Shirtliff) contacted me I was delighted at the opportunity to come back into League football as I wasn't sure what was going to happen at Reading.
"I don't want to say too much but hopefully I will bring some quality to the side. I have a lot of energy and want to do well."
Peter Shirtliff, pleased at landing the first of his hit list, added: "I am pleased about signing John as I think he is going to be an asset to the club.
"He can play anywhere across the defence and in midfield although I have brought him in for the right back role.
"I think he will bring some quality and he is a consistent player who arrives at Field Mill with a good pedigree because at Reading they do a lot of good work in the coaching of players and at 20 years old he is the right age for this football club in terms of experience but still has room to grow."
Mullins signed for Reading as a trainee in July 2004 and was later on loan at Kidderminster, making 46 league appearances for them including an outing against Stags when they travelled there last season.
Date: 31-05-06 Johnny Mullins decides on the Stags
The Harriers crowd favourite, Johnny Mullins, has finally made up his mind about which club he will be playing for in future and as expected it won't be the Harriers but Mansfield Town. The pull of playing for a League side over a lowly Conference team was always going to be too strong and he put pen to paper today on a two year contract at Field Mill.
My sources tell me that on the day he had talks with the Mansfield manager last week he also met with Mark Yates later and we offered him the same contract but with the Captaincy thrown in too. Mansfield were the only other team, amongst many others he has spoken to, to offer him guaranteed first team football and Johnny was torn between the two of us.
A strong reason to stay in this area was that his girlfriend lives in Bewdley and they wanted to stay in the area. Signing for Mansfield meant a bit more travelling but at least Bewdley was still not too far to travel from.
This website, and Harriers fans, have always enjoyed a good relationship with Johnny and it's a foregone conclusion that we wish the lad all the best for the future and hopes he does well for his new club.
19yr old Johnny had a trial here a few months before he joined us on a loan from Reading for the remainder of the season in December 2004.
This highly rated young defender had signed professional forms for his club just before coming here and is currently in the third year of his three year scholarship with Reading. He can play at centre half, right back and in the centre of midfield.
Apart from playing for Readings youth team he has also made seven appearances for the reserves.
After becoming a firm favourite with the fans Johnny picked up a bad injury towards the end of the season and didn't get to play in our final three games in the Football League.
The following season he still hadn't made the breakthrough to the Reading first team but did become the captain of the reserve side. He came back to the Harriers for another season long loan in October 2005 and ended the season by gaining the Player of the Season awards both for the club and for Harriers Online.
He has now returned to Reading again but was released soon after and joined League Two side Mansfield Town.
Born: Reading 06-11-1985 Height: 5ft 8ins Weight: 11st 1lb Position: Defender
Club Date Fee Apps Goals
Reading 01-07-04 : 08-05-06 Trainee 0 0
Harriers 17-12-04 : 07-04-05 Loan 21 2
Harriers 25-10-05 : 02-05-06 Loan 30 2
Mansfield Town 30-05-06 : Signed
harriers-online: The Johnny Mullins interview 1st May 2005
Johnny talks to Harriers Online
With the season coming to an end, and Johnny sadly injured following a hamstring injury against Yeovil two weeks ago, it's time to start saying our farewells to some of the players.
Some won't be missed after this disappointing season but one who surely will is the young lad loaned to us from before Christmas by his parent club Reading. Before he says goodbye to us he has been asked to answer a few questions for Harriers Online so read on:
First of all we are all very sorry to see your season, and your time at Kidderminster, end on such a sad note.
What went through your mind when you got injured against Yeovil?
I didn't want to leave on that sour note. I hoped the injury wasn't that serious so I could once again put the Kidderminster shirt on that I had come to love in order to try and help the team and club avoid the dreaded relegation.
I think I can truthfully say that Harriers fans have really appreciated you in your time here and were impressed with you in your first game for us at Cheltenham.
Which game was it when you knew that you had made the right decision in coming here?
Cheltenham. From day one I knew I had made the right decision and I had come to a good club that had good professional people at its helm, a good playing staff and a great set of fans who on the day sang their hearts out and, circumstances abiding, we would have got a deserved result in my eyes.
Which game do you think was your best game for us?
I would say one of three. Either Oxford away, Darlington away or Cheltenham at home where I managed to nick the winner and only goal which for any football player is an incredible feeling. In every game I gave my all and sometimes you have a good game and sometimes is doesn't always go for you but I think I was fairly consistent.
Did you have to re-adjust your style of playing from the cultured way that Reading play to the more agricultural style that you find in L2?
Yes a bit, mainly due to the importance of every game and the pressure that comes with that. I had to adapt whereas before I was used to passing a lot more at Reading, at Kidderminster it was the result that counted, and you try to do whatever it takes on that day. Also the physical side of the game was a lot more intense.
My time at Kidderminster has been a massive learning curve and the experience gained has been invaluable.
I know we would all like to see you come back to Aggborough but the chances of that are very slim now that we are in the Conference. Do you feel that you have a chance of breaking into the Reading first team next season or do you think that you may go out on loan again?
Obviously that will be up to Steve Coppell and football is all about opinions and what ever the manager thinks is the best for me, then that is what I will be going along with.
Ideally I would like to break into the Reading first team next year, if I don't then maybe another loan deal might be the route for me.
I realise that, to a certain extent, it would be up to Steve Coppell where you went to next but which club would you like it to be? (Not the Harriers and be realistic, Arsenal and Man Utd are out of the question)
Good humour! I was thinking along the lines of Real Madrid or AC Milan!!
In all honestly I want to play in the Premiership one day and I believe in my own ability so hopefully with a bit of luck I will end up there one day.
Back to the Harriers. Who do you think was the toughest opponent that you came up against during your time here?
Nathan Tyson without a doubt. I trained and played with him at Reading and we are very good friends.
The disappointing thing for me is how well I know him and his game and was still unable to put a stop to him but he is a very good player and has a very bright future ahead of him. I learnt a lot playing against him because the main thing was as he is so quick you have to be quicker in the mind so you always remain one step ahead.
We know that the squad will change by the start of next season but do you think that a good nucleus will be kept and do you think we'll be good enough to bounce back straight away?
Yes! without a doubt. I think the nucleus of the team will stay together and bounce straight back because, if you look at the team and its form as a team, that would be mid-table and the team feels it should have done better.
So the team is on the way up and if they can stay together they will bounce back.
An obvious answer to this one but do you rate Stuart Watkiss as a manager?
Without sounding over the top he is a superb manager. A good one on one manager and also a very good motivator.
He never lets our heads drop and gave us confidence and belief in our own ability, I think Barney and the gaffer are a good team. If only Stuart had come to the Harriers earlier maybe circumstances would be different but in a short space of time he has done a excellent job.
Thanks John. Have you any comforting words that you can give the fans?
As a football player and football fan they both come with highs and lows and I am certain the highs for Kidderminster Harriers are just waiting around the corner.
The whole club is a professional outfit from players to management and the fans are all top notch.
I would like to say a personal thank you to all Kidderminster fans who have treated me so well and from my very first game it has been a pleasure to have played in front of you and celebrated a goal with you. Also the ovation when I came off against Yeovil was amazing and I will have to admit there was a lump in my throat.
So there we have it. A good, honest crop of answers from Johnny and when I took the photo's of him he told me that although his leg was stiff he was still hoping to play for us at Northampton in our final game of the season.
I think we might see him come on for the last ten minutes or so.
I'd like to thank Johnny for agreeing to this interrogation and also to his Mum for giving me the chance. Thanks.
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