RETAINED LIST - NEW OFFERS TO 13
DEARDEN OFFERS 11 A STAGS CONTRACT
Evening Post, 09 May 2007
Mansfield have offered 11 players new contracts for next season, boss Billy Dearden revealed today.
Jason White, Giles Coke, Simon Brown, Stephen Dawson, Gareth Jelleyman, Alex John-Baptiste, Chris Wood, Danny Sleath, Nathan Arnold, Ashley Kitchen and Carl Muggleton have been given fresh terms to consider.
Brothers Michael and Rory Boulding have been told they are wanted but no firm deals have yet been put their way because they are travelling to Canada this week.
Aside from the original four who have already been told they can leave - Jon-Olav Hjelde, Barry Conlon, Martin Gritton and Asa Charlton - Callum Lloyd is the only player given a free transfer.
But the midfielder could still be in Dearden's plans if the Stags need more cover in that area.
The Stags manager knows he now has to be patient while the players weigh up their options.
But Dearden is also on the lookout to strengthen his squad and admits he has ''one or two irons in the fire''.
"I'm looking at bringing four players in if we can and if the players who have been offered contracts don't sign, I will be looking to bring more in," he said.
No cull as Dearden begins to rebuild Stags squad
CHAD website, 08May2007
THERE were no surprises in Billy Dearden's retained list this week as he began the task of building up his Mansfield Town squad for next season.
Boss Dearden, who missed Saturday's final 1-1 draw at Bury to go and watch some potential new targets, had already announced Barry Conlon, Martin Gritton, Asa Charlton and the retiring Jon Hjelde would not be returning next season.
With new deals offered to out-of-contract players Alex John-Baptiste, Jason White, Carl Muggleton, Giles Coke, Simon Brown, Stephen Dawson, Gareth Jelleyman, Chris Wood, Danny Sleath, Nathan Arnold and Ashley Kitchen, there was no major cull at the end of another disappointing season.
Boulding brothers Michael and Rory are away at a wedding in Canada but have been told there will be deals for them on their return, though no figures have been discussed.
The only player whose future remains undecided is midfielder Callum Lloyd. He is likely to be allowed to leave on a free, though the door has not yet been closed on him, depending on what happens with other players.
Dearden must now wait to see if players accept the deals they have been offered and hope he quickly gets an answer one way or the other so he can go out and replace them.
But football is not like that and players and their agents keep their options open as long as possible.
John-Baptiste's return must be in doubt as the talented youngster could be snapped up by a club from a higher division.
And Irish midfielder Dawson said yesterday that he was unhappy with the deal offered to him and would not sign unless it was improved.
"It is a difficult time of the year," said Dearden.
"Chances are it will all go quiet now and then everything will suddenly spring back into life.
"I definitely want to bring a minimum of four new players in - certainly a striker and a left-sided midfield player.
"Obviously if some players decide not to accept their contract then it will be more.
"And, until you know who is staying and who is going, it is hard to say exactly what you will need.
"We are not too bad in midfield if we have Giles Coke and Jon D'Laryea who did well together for me before Giles was injured.
"Dawson did well at times too.
"But I would like more goals from midfield. They only managed a handful of goals between them all season.
"I have already put irons in the fire. Retained lists are starting to come out this week, though clubs in the Play-offs will be another three or four weeks yet."
Stags ended the season 17th with 54 points.
"If you had said to me when I arrived in January that we would end up with 54 points - I think we had 23/24 points then - I would have said we'd have done well," said Dearden.
"But, having said that, I think we would have had another 12 points on top if we had not suffered so many injuries.
"I am very disappointed not to finish in the top half and I put that down to the injuries and the timing of them.
"If they had happend before the loan window closed I could have brought more players in.
"When you lose six players who would have been in your starting line-up it is a big hole.
"Some teams can go through the season using the same 16 players. I think we've ended up using 30!
"But I think the young lads who have come in have done well and it's given us a chance to look at them at League level.
Veteran Carl Muggleton is being offered a dual role of player-goalkeeping coach.
"Most clubs at out level do not carry two senior keepers," said Dearden.
"They have one senior keeper and a YTS on the bench on Saturday afternoons. Jason has now played 40-50 games and we are looking for Carl to really bring him on next season."
BBC Nottingham online:
Updated 15.34pm, 08.05.07
Mansfield Town have announced which players they're releasing, now the season has finished. As expected, Barry Conlon, Martin Gritton, and Asa Charlton are to leave Field Mill, while Jon Hjelde's retired. In addition, manager Billy Dearden's offered contracts to 13 other players, including the likes of goalkeepers Jason White and Carl Muggleton, and Stephen Dawson, Giles Coke and Alex John-Baptiste.
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