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Archived News from September 2007

1st September 2007 23:22

Striker gamble 'should pay off'
Football Post.
Billy Dearden admits he has taken a gamble in signing striker Ian Holmes for Mansfield from UniBond League football - but believes it will pay off.
The Stags boss beat yesterday's transfer deadline to clinch a permanent deal for the Matlock Town player for an undisclosed fee.

Holmes, 22, will go straight into Mansfield's squad for this afternoon's home League Two clash with Stockport County.

Dearden knows the player still has plenty to learn but is quietly confident he will take the step up in his stride.

"It is a gamble, but it's always a gamble when you bring in any player whether from another League club or the non-league," he said.

"Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, some do it and some don't. But I think the fans will be every surprised at what they see from Ian eventually.

"I'm not saying he will go in and do that straight away, but he is a good addition to the squad and, no two ways about it, he will put pressure on those who are in the side right away."

Holmes was the top scorer in the UniBond Premier Division last season, netting 34 goals (25 in the league, nine in cups).

He has been training with the Stags but playing for Matlock since he was spotted in a pre-season match against the Stags. Dearden said: "It was not a big problem negotiating the fee, but every club wants to get as much as they can when selling the player and we are exactly the same. I go to watch a lot of football matches at different levels and every now and then you pick someone up.

"There is no guarantee that he will do it, but the potential is definitely there and he is very eager. We have not made a decision on one game. We have seen him in other games and training as well."
Stags sign striker
CHAD website, 31 Aug 2007
STAGS boss Billy Dearden this morning completed the signing of striker Ian Holmes just before the noon transfer deadline.
The 22-year-old joined from Matlock Town on a one-year deal for an undisclosed fee.

He has been training at Field Mill for a few weeks and becomes the second new face at the Stags after the loan move for Hartlepool's Lee Bullock on Wednesday.

"We got the transfer through just half an hour before the deadline," said Dearden.

"But it has been going on for a couple of weeks.

"He played against us in a pre-season friendly and I quite liked him.

"We have had him down here training and seen him play in three or four Matlock matches and decided to take him.

"I think he will be a good addition to our squad.

"Ian has got a bit of pace and he works very hard.

"He has come here keen as mustard to have a right go at making it as a professional footballer and I think he has a bit of chance if he carries on doing what he has been doing in training and in his games for Matlock.

"I think he scored 30-odd goals for them last season at that level so let's see what he can do here."

Stags clinch deal for non-league striker
Mansfield have beaten today's transfer deadline to land striker Ian Holmes for an undisclosed fee from UniBond League side Matlock Town.

The 22-year-old has signed a one-year deal and, because he has signed before 12 noon, will be eligible to play against Stockport tomorrow.

Holmes was spotted by youth team coach Ivan Hollett when the Stags played against Matlock in a pre-season friendly.

The player has been training with the Stags for the last few weeks and will wear shirt number 18.

It is Dearden's second signing this week after capturing Hartlepool midfielder Lee Bullock on a month's loan.

"He's a very, very hard working player who scored 30-odd goals for Matlock last season, which is only two leagues below our level (correction by Martin - three leagues below)," said the Stags boss.

"He's quick and though he is not massively tall at about 5ft 11ins, he is good in the air for his size.

"I have had him training with us while still playing for them in matches for a few weeks now and the two clubs have managed to come an agreement over the fee.

"He will definitely be in the squad tomorrow and I expect him to put immediate pressure on the strikers already at the club."

For full story see tomorrow's Evening Post.


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