MATT PIPER AND LEE BELL TRAINING WITH STAGS
PIPER HAS TO PROVE FITNESS
Evening Post, 13 July 2007
Billy Dearden reckons striker-cum-winger Matthew Piper could be a real asset to Mansfield - if he can prove his fitness.
The Stags boss gave Piper valuable Football League experience during his first spell at Field Mill by taking him on loan from Leicester City in the 2001-2002 season.
He went on to earn a £3m move to Sunderland and was rated as a hot prospect.
But a serious knee injury hindered his progress and he was eventually released.
Piper rang Mansfield asking for a trial.
Dearden was impressed with the player, now 25, as a youngster and is willing to take a fresh look at him, starting on Tuesday.
"On the relationship we had before, he is coming in next week to train with us so we can see how fit he is," he said.
Dearden is also assessing former Crewe midfielder Lee Bell, who was released at the end of last season.
Mansfield have suffered a setback with the news midfielder Jonathan D'Laryea is set to miss the start of the season with an ankle problem.
And Dan Martin will sit out a week with a calf strain.
Bell and Piper out to impress Dearden
CHAD website, 12 July 2007
By John Lomas
BILLY Dearden is running the rule over two potential new signings - Lee Bell and exciting former Stags loanee Matty Piper.
Former Crewe midfielder Bell (24) is already training with the squad and will be given a chance to show what he can do in the pre-season friendlies.
And former Stags loanee Piper (25) is coming in on Tuesday in a bid to resurrect his career after a serious knee problem ended his time at Sunderland.
The news that Piper is back in the building will be of particular excitement to Stags fans who will remember his pace and threat when he was at Field Mill on loan from Leicester City, making eight appearances in season 2001/02.
He subsequently made a £3.5m move to the Stadium of Light and seemed to have a glittering career ahead of him.
But a rare and previously undiagnosed knee problem wrecked that, playing just 29 games in three and a half years with the Black Cats.
In total he had 10 knee operations in three years.
His contract was finally terminated at Sunderland in
January 2006 and he has now moved back down to his native Leicester area.
"Matty has had five operations on his knee in the last year and rang me to ask if he could come in and train with us," said Stags boss Dearden.
"He seems to think he can still play League football and if he is anything like he was before he would be a big bonus to us."
Piper can play wide or in his preferred position as a striker while Bell is a central midfielder.
"Ian has done very well in training and fitted in well with the lads," said Dearden.
"He will get to play in the pre-season games and we will take it from there."
Bell played 53 times for home town Crewe, where he had started out as a trainee. He was then loaned out to Shrewsbury Town and Burton Albion before leaving Crewe to sign a short term contract with the Brewers.
However, things didn't work out there and he was released in April.
Latest | July 2007