STAGS SIGN ASA CHARLTON
Stags to sign non-nonsense Asa?
CHAD website, 06 November 2006
MANSFIELD Town are this week hoping to toughen up their defence with the signing of rugged Redditch United left back Asa Charlton.
But the 28-year-old is cup-tied and unavailable for this Saturday's FA Cup first round visit of Accrington Stanley to Field Mill (3pm).
Stags boss Peter Shirtliff has had one eye on Charlton since the summer and has twice had him at Field Mill for a closer look.
Now, with on-loan Alan Sheehan allowed to return to Leicester City, Shirtliff has swooped to offer Charlton a deal until the end of the season.
"Asa is a tough boy who is never fazed by anything and - at 28 - he is quite mature," said Shirtliff.
"We needed strengthening in that area and the chairman has allowed me to do it.
"I know Asa has never played in the League but he has always played at a decent standard and he was on Stoke's books when he was younger.
"But a League career never materialised for him and he was probably a bit unlucky.
"Having said that a lot of these non-League lads who have a good job can earn decent money and have a good career at non-League level.
"We have offered him a chance toplay in the League and, at his age, he knew if he didn't do it now he may never do it. We are pleased to give him this opportunity and I think he will do well.
"He came up in the summer and again for a week's training and he has done well. I also have people in the Midlands who have recommended him strongly."
But Shirtliff said Sheehan could still return to Field Mill for a third and final month on loan at some stage.
"Alan has been good for us and I think we've been good for him," he said. "But we have sent him back as he is out with an infected toe and can't play in the Cup on Saturday anyway.
"There are only three games he could play in during November so it's not really worth using that last month up. But, depending on how things work out, we could maybe bring him back to cover us through December for his third month like Lincoln have done with Forest's Nicky Eaden."
Shirtliff is confident he will have a full strength squad for the FA Cup opener on Saturday.
Danny Reet ended up with an egg-sized bump on his head and feeling ill after taking a knock in Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Bristol Rovers.
Simon Brown missed that game with a dead leg sustained in training on Friday and Giles Coke suffered a dead leg during the game while Matt Hamshaw limped off with a sore calf which may have been down to cramp.
But all are expected to be fine for the visit of Accrington when Stags have a point to prove.
Stanley escaped from Field Mill with an unlikely point in a 2-2 draw on 23rd September and Shirtliff said: "I hope we can get the right result this time.
"That day we missed two penalties and their keeper made some outstanding saves that kept them in the game.
"If we can produce that sort of performance and finish a bit better then we will be fine. I am looking forward to it."
BBC Nottingham online
Updated 08.36am, 06.11.06
Mansfield Town have decided against extending the loan spell of defender Alan Sheean. The Irish Left back made nine appearances for the Stags but manager Peter Shirtliff has allowed Sheehan to return to Leicester as he steps up his search for new players.
SHIRTLIFF SIGNS LEAGUE ROOKIE
Evening Post, 07 November 2006
Mansfield Town are today set to complete the signing of left-back Asa Charlton from Conference North side Redditch United.
Charlton, 28, is due at Field Mill to sign a contract until the end of the season, despite never having played in the Football League before.
But Stags boss Peter Shirtliff is convinced that Charlton has what it takes to bridge the step up in class.
"He is a fit boy, tough and has a good left foot. I have watched him in games and I think we will do a job for us," said Shirtliff.
"It is a step up from what he has been used to, but I'm confident he can do it. He's not fazed by anything and is a confident lad and I'm sure he'll cope."
Charlton will not be available for the FA Cup tie against Accrington on Saturday because he is cup tied.
But he will boost the Stags' options on the left following Alan Sheehan's return to Leicester after a two-month loan spell.
The Irishman may yet return for a third and final month later down the line.
But with only three league games in November, Shirtliff feels that it would be a waste of a valuable loan.
He said: "I have been pleased with what Alan has done for us and it's also been good for him in getting first team experience.
"But I don't think it's worth using up a loan for three matches. We might get him back in the future, but we'll just have to see how things develop."
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