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Archived News from September 2006

8th September 2006 14:39

matt.halfpenny, Evening Post, 08 September 2006
Alan Sheehan today revealed he is confident he can successfully fill the boots of injured Gareth Jelleyman after completing a loan move to Mansfield.

The youngster - 20 next Thursday - was drafted in for an initial month from Leicester yesterday.

He is set to slot in at left-back against Hereford on Saturday after Jelleyman was diagnosed with suspected slight knee ligament damage this week.

And the Ireland under-21 international feels he can make an impact at League Two level after playing three times for Leicester last season.

"I was out for four or five months last season with a groin injury and that hampered my progress," he said.

"I came back to the club after the summer and I felt I was playing well, but you can only put forward a squad of 16 and I was not playing.

"I felt I needed to get out and play first team football and, having watched games here last season, I knew this was a nice place with a good young team.

"Hopefully I can get out on the field and do that here and make an impact at the same time."

The club was recommended to Sheehan by midfielder Stephen Dawson, who roomed with him for three years when the pair first came over from Ireland.

Stags' new acquisition is also familiar with boss Peter Shirtliff, who gave him a reserve team debut at Leicester.

Sheehan said: "I came along to see Stephen play last season and he has also told me what to expect. He is one of my best friends and he told me the people here are lovely and everyone gets on well and that although it is a bit of a step down from Leicester I will enjoy it."

Should Sheehan take his place in an otherwise unchanged back four from the one that lost at Wycombe last week, he will be part of a youthful defence.

But he is excited by the potential that he, Jake Buxton, 21, and Alex John-Baptiste, 20, and Johnny Mullins, 20, possess.

"I trained with Johnny Mullins in the Irish under-21s and I know Alex is a good player," said Sheehan.

Sheehan knows he was well regarded by previous manager Craig Levein and he signed a two-and-a-half year deal at the Walker's Stadium last year.

But he is unsure how he is rated by current boss Rob Kelly and he is keen to make a good impression - however long he remains at Field Mill.

"I can't really say at the moment if I will stay longer than a month, we'll have to see how it goes," he said. "I haven't played competitively really for about a month since we played Mansfield in a reserve game so the first thing is to get games under my belt."

League Two is renowned for being a rigorous physical test, especially compared with the reserve team football he has been used to. But Sheehan reckons he will be able to cope with those demands.

"I don't regard myself as a particularly physical player but I don't think I will have any problems," he said.

Shirtliff is pleased with the capture of Sheehan, who he believes will bring much-need competition on the Stags' left-hand side.

"He's a good prospect," he said. "He's got a terrific left foot, good in the air and a good defender.

"He can pass the ball well, likes to get forward and has a decent strike on him, so could be a danger from set pieces."

Shirtliff revealed he has not ruled out pushing Jelleyman further forward, ahead of Sheehan, on his return.

But first he will be rested for a week and if there is no improvement, will undergo a scan to assess the injury further.

"We want Gareth back as soon as possible and when he is, bringing Alan in will make us much stronger on that side."
Match Preview: Bulls take on the Stags
Mansfield Town vs. Hereford United
Field Mill, Mansfield
Coca-Cola Football League 2
Saturday 9th September 2006
3.00pm Kick Off

Hereford United travel to Mansfield's Field Mill ground this Saturday as the Bulls look for a return to winning ways following their 1-1 draw away at Rochdale last weekend.

Bulls' supremo, Graham Turner will welcome back Welshman, Stuart Fleetwood from international duty, who is likely to return straight to the starting eleven, and, with the exception of Wayne Brown, the gaffer is expected to be able to select from a fully fit squad.

The United management and supporters alike, will be expecting a more stylish and dominating performance against the Stags, than was witnessed at the Spotland last Saturday, with the Bulls spending much of their encounter against Rochdale on the back foot.

Following on from the Stags 1-0 defeat to Wycombe last weekend, Mansfield boss Peter Shirtliff has told the local media that his side “have to bit more ruthless in front of goal because it has stopped us getting a result.”

With his side, currently lying in 14th place in the league, having recorded a win, a loss and a defeat at home, and having not yet won away, Shirtliff went on to say “There is a fine line between success and failure and it is not quite going our way at the moment."

Mansfield will have Alan Sheehan, a 19-year old left back available after his arrival on transfer deadline day from Leicester City on a one-month loan.


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