STAGS SIGN MATT HAMSHAW
STAGS MAN AIMS FOR A GOAL FEST
Evening Post, 01 July 2006
New Mansfield signing Matt Hamshaw is determined to help Richard Barker finish as League Two's top scorer next season.
Only Carlisle's Karl Hawley (26) and Northampton's Scott McGleish (24) scored more goals in all competition than the Stags skipper (23) in 2005-2006.
But Hamshaw believes that, with the benefit of his service from the right of midfield, fellow ex-Sheffield Wednesday player Barker can finish top of the tree this time round.
"Richie is well capable of scoring 20 to 30 goals for this club next season, and hopefully I can provide the ammunition for him to score even more," said Hamshaw.
"I have an enormous amount of respect for him and I know a lot of the other lads do, as well, after what he has achieved.
"He has gone out of his way to make me feel welcome here and I want to repay him by getting past people and getting some crosses in for him."
Hamshaw is also looking to improve his goals ratio after being disappointed with his return of five in 35 starts for Stockport last season.
He said: "I have a figure in mind that I am looking to get but I am not going to reveal it because if I don't reach it then everyone will be disappointed.
"I will be looking to score more than the five I got for Stockport last season. I was not happy with that and I know that I can do better.
"But the gaffer knows what I am aiming for, so we'll just have to see if I get there during the course of the season."
Rotherham-born Hamshaw still lives in the town after spending five seasons at Hillsborough before his move to Edgeley Park.
"It was a long way to travel to Stockport every day and towards the end of the season it came to be a bit of a grind," he said.
AMBITIOUS TO REACH GOALS
Evening Post, 30 June 2006
Matt Hamshaw signed a two-year deal with Mansfield yesterday then declared: "I want to win promotion here."
The 24-year-old has been courted by a host of clubs since being released by Stockport County at the end of last season.
But the Stags have won the race for his signature and now the versatile midfielder is hoping success at Field Mill.
"I was looking to come to somewhere that matches the ambitions that I have," said Hamshaw. "I don't want to be playing in League Two for the whole of my career and I know Peter Shirtliff and the rest of the lads don't want to either.
"My aim is to win promotion and I believe that is possible here. It's another step in my career and I'm looking forward to the challenge."
Bury, Grimsby, Lincoln and Hartlepool were just some of the clubs linked with Hamshaw who came through the ranks at Sheffield Wednesday.
But the former England youth international - who still lives in Rotherham - felt Mansfield stood out from the crowd.
He said: "As soon as I knew Mansfield were interested I wanted to speak to Peter as soon as possible about it.
"This is a move that feels to me to be the right option. I believe it's a club that's going somewhere with a lot of good young players and it's also near my house.
"There is also one of the best strikers in the division here in the shape of Richie Barker. Everything is in place for us to have a good season."
Hamshaw was captain of a young Stockport team last season and played in a variety of roles including left, centre and right midfield and in the hole behind the front two.
"I will play anywhere, but I believe I am at my most effective down the right," he said.
"I like to run at defenders at get crosses into the box and I also like to chip in with a few goals as well."
Delighted boss Peter Shirtliff added: "He's been one of my main targets since the finish of the season."
"Matt has lots of qualities, I think he will improve our squad will be a positive figure in our dressing room as well."
Hamshaw becomes a Stag
mansfieldtown.net, 29 June 2006
STAGS boss Peter Shirtliff finally got his man today when former Stockport County skipper Matt Hamshaw signed a two-year deal at Field Mill.
(for photo of news signings Hamshaw and Mullins, visit http://www.mansfieldtown.net)
Shirtliff held talks with midfielder Hamshaw (24) as soon as last season ended.
And, despite the interest of a dozen other clubs - including Bury, Lincoln City, Hartlepool United, Port Vale, Rochdale, Grimsby Town, and Rotherham United - Hamshaw opted to join the Stags.
"I am delighted Matt has signed," said Shirtliff.
"He has been our main target since the end of last season when I had a meeting with him and his representative.
"I expressed my opinion that I thought coming here would be good for him and good for us.
"Obviously we have had to compete financially with a number of other clubs so I am pleased we have been able to offer him a deal that he has agreed to."
Shirtliff added: "Matt has good qualities and he will improve our squad and improve ourdressing room.
"He can play right or left wing, though I think he is better on the right.
"I am looking forward to working with him. Matt has been given a two-year deal which I think is a good deal for the club."
Despite being courted by several other clubs, Hamshaw, who began his career as a trainee with Sheffield Wednesday, always felt Mansfield would be the right choice.
"This is another step in my career and I am looking forward to it," he said.
"As soon as I knew Mansfield were interested I wanted to speak to Peter as soon as I could.
"I just felt this was the right option for me.
"It it near my home in Rotherham and I can see it is a club with a lot of good, young players and a club that is going somewhere.
"Mansfield have a good squad and one of the best strikers in the division in Richie Barker.
"Being captain at Stockport you have a good look at other teams and I spoke to Kevin Pressman earlier in the season and he spoke very highly of Mansfield which is also why I knew it was right for me.
"I played 120 games for Sheffield Wednesday and got promotion there in my last season. For whatever reason Paul Sturrock felt it was right to let me go and I moved to Stockport.
"I had a good season there personally, though the club didn't as a whole. That's why I have come somewhere with ambition as I have ambition."
He added: "At 24 I was the most senior player in a young squad last season and was captain which bring a bit more out of you and gives you a feeling of responsibility.
"But Stockport is in the past now and I don't care what happens there this season as long as Mansfield finish in the top three.
"I don't mind not being captain here. I still have that feeling of responsibility and I believe you need 11 captains out there.
"Richie is captain and a top man. He and the lads have already made me feel very welcome"
The close proximity of Mansfield to Hamshaw's Rotherham home was another major factor.
"Sometimes it was taking two or three hours to drive to Stockport with the Manchester airport traffic and by the end of the season that was taking its toll on me, he said."
"Now I will be able to meet up with Richie in the mornings. And I hope I can put some goodcrosses in for him too as he is capable of scoring 20 or 30 goals in this division.
"I only scored five times last season so I hope I can chip in with a few more this season. I have set myself a target but I won't tell anyone what it is until the end of the season!
"I can play right or left wing, behind the front man or centre midfield. I can also take free kicks.
"But I don't mind where I play. I don't get a bag on just because I am not playing where I want. I am just happy to be in the side and playing."
Shirtliff said he is still hoping to bring in one or two more new faces.
"Hopefully I can bring in one, possibly two more before the start of the games," he said.
"There have been one or two hiccups, personal circumstances have changed with one, but I hope it will be resolved shortly."
provided by Sheff Wed fan:
Hamshaw scores one of his goals for Sheffield Wednesday, against Watford in December 2001:
Height 5.10, Weight 11.08
Date of birth 01-01-1982, Place of birth Rotherham
Position Midfielder, Nationality England
All time playing career
Club From To Fee League FA Cup League cup Other
Stockport 01-08-2005 08-05-2006 Free 35 (4) 5 3 (0) 0 1 (0) 0 1 (0) 0
Sheff Wed 01-08-1998 01-08-2005 Trainee 35 (39) 2 2 (1) 2 6 (3) 2 2 (0) 0
Totals £ 0 70 (43) 7 5 (1) 2 7 (3) 2 3 (0) 0
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
STAGS CLOSE TO SIGNING MIDFIELDER
Evening Post, 29 June 2006
Mansfield Town boss Peter Shirtliff is close to landing his top summer transfer target - believed to be former Stockport midfielder Matt Hamshaw.
The Rotherham-born 24-year-old has been linked with a host of clubs since being released by the Hatters at the end of the season.
Shirtliff would not confirm Hamshaw is his target, saying only: "I have made an agreement with one player who I have been looking to sign all summer.
"There have been in the region of 12 clubs after him so I am chuffed to bits that I have managed to get him to come to Mansfield.
"He has not actually signed yet and I will be even more pleased once he has put pen to paper on a contract."
Bury boss Chris Casper - who was also trailing Hamshaw - revealed that he is set to reject them, probably in favour of a move to Field Mill.
"He lives in the Mansfield area and his wife is settled in Mansfield and has a good job there to supplement their income," said Casper.
"He had been commuting to Stockport and once he signs for the League Two club everyone will appreciate why.
"It wasn't a financial decision and he has put his family as his top priority. We have to thank Matthew for being honest with us. It was close. We have to respect Matthew's decision."
Former England youth and under-20 international Hamshaw made 74 league appearances and scored twice in five seasons with his first club Sheffield Wednesday.
He moved onto Stockport last season where he impressed in the centre of their midfield, despite the Cheshire side's struggle to avoid relegation, scoring five goals in 35 league starts.
He was linked with a move to Mansfield in last season's January transfer window.
Bury official site:
Casper Left Disappointed
"At this level, players are not paid the vast sums of money that you see banded about in the press. Matthew Hamshaw's decision to move to another club was not a financial decision. He lives in the Mansfield area and his wife is settled in Mansfield and has a good job there to supplement their income."
"He will sign for another league two club in the coming days. I have to thank the directors on this one because we matched this club pound for pound on wages. The directors knew how much I wanted this player and backed me to the hilt in trying to get this player to Gigg Lane."
"He had been commuting to Stockport and once he signs for the league two club everyone will appreciate why he has signed for this club. It wasn't a financial decision and he has put his family as his top priority. We have to thank Matthew for being honest with us. It was close and I really thought we had him yesterday. We also have to respect Matthew's decision."
"It was very close, and we nearly had him. He would have been an excellent addition to the squad, but it's not the end of the world. I still have other irons in the fire and I will not be rushed or pushed into signing a player, it has to be the right player for this football club."
"Another player that we had talks with was Sam Aiston. Again we offered a competitive deal to the player but his ambition was to play at a higher level. He signed for Northampton Town yesterday and a club closer to his home. I can't compete with factors like that."
"There are plenty of players still available out there and like I said, I won't be pushed or rushed into making a signing, it has to be the right player for the way I want to take this club forward. It's disappointing I know, but we move on."
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