WATKISS ON LARKIN
Colin can be Mansfield hit
By Tim Nash, http://www.expressandstar.com, Jul 31, 2002, 12:40pm
Colin Larkin has been hailed as a potential 30 goals a season man by his new manager.
The 20-year-old Wolves striker was all set to finally complete his move to Mansfield today subject to a medical at Field Mill.
Larkin has agreed a three-year contract with the newly-promoted Second Division side, Wolves picking up £125,000 plus add-ons and the young Irishman travelled up to Nottinghamshire today for the formalities.
He will join his new team-mates for training tomorrow before making his debut in a friendly on Saturday at Lincoln, where he figured in a 1-0 Kidderminster victory last November.
Former Wolves defender Stuart Watkiss and now Mansfield boss, believes he has signed a gem.
"Hopefully in two seasons' time we'll be saying what a great buy Colin Larkin was after he's scored 50 or 60 goals for us," said Watkiss, who still lives in Wolverhampton.
"It's a gamble but we're a club who can't afford not to. I believe Colin will become a massive, massive asset for this club."
Watkiss watched the pacy striker at close quarters for Wolves reserves and at Kidderminster, where Larkin scored six goals in 32 League games in an eight-month loan spell.
His scoring rate wasn't great at Aggborough but as one of three strikers in a 4-3-3 system he was often seen as a clever provider from out wide.
"It's a great recommendation that Jan Molby had him for a season," added the Stags boss. "Jan has gone to a bigger club in Hull and he's tried to sign him again and Jan's no mug when it comes to players.
"His biggest asset is his pace and we will be looking to put him in on goal."
With Wolves still looking to recoup cash after Dave Jones's £14m outlay last season, the £125,000 goes some way to re-dressing the balance and the fee is the first the club have received for a player since the initial £600,000 for the departure of Tony Dinning to Wigan last September.
Chief executive Jez Moxey said: "It's a shame to see Colin go but I believe the deal is in the best interest of both parties.
"We have protected our future interests and a large sell-on clause has been written into the contract with Mansfield. We all wish him well in his new career at Field Mill."
The Dundalk-born former Republic of Ireland youth international made an immediate impact when he came on as a substitute and scored a stunning debut goal against Wycombe in the Worthington Cup in August 1999.
He started against Walsall the following Saturday but made just two appearances for Wolves' first team since - both as substitute.
He should figure far more prominently for Mansfield as fellow strikers Shayne Bradley and Danny Bacon are both struggling with respective ankle and thigh injuries.
And Mansfield's highly-rated Chris Greenacre joined newly-promoted Stoke during the summer.
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