YOUNG GUNS AIM HIGHER
Evening Post, 13 July 2006
Jonathan D'Laryea reckons Mansfield Town's young guns no longer feel intimidated by League Two football.
Last season was a baptism of fire for D'Laryea - along with the likes of Stephen Dawson, Giles Coke, Danny Reet and Nathan Arnold - who were thrown in at the deep end with little or no first team experience.
It was a steep learning curve for the youngsters, who made the transition from reserve team football.
But D'Laryea, 20, believes fans will see the benefits of that baptism of fire when the new season kicks off in August.
"Everyone says this is a young team but even so, we all have some experience. Even the youngest lads have played 30 games or so now," said D'Laryea.
"We do have a lot more confidence in ourselves and know through experience what is required at this level.
"It took me at least ten games to get used to how things worked and going away to all these small grounds.
"It was a bit of a mental struggle, but I think we have all got through that now and will be better players for it."
When Manchester-born D'Laryea joined the Stags from Manchester City last October, the team's only aim was to steer clear of the League Two drop zone.
The team managed that with relative comfort in the end, but after a summer of reflection are now determined to take the next step.
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