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Archived News from May 2009

26th May 2009 12:35

19 May 2009

Video interview part 1 --->

Video interview part 2 --->


Graham wants to extend stay at Stags
Evening Post, May 21, 2009

LUKE Graham is determined his one-year deal with Mansfield will be just the start of a lengthy spell at Field Mill.
The 6ft 3ins central defender has signed for 12 months after leaving Blue Square Premier rivals Kettering Town.
But there is an option for the 23-year-old former Northampton trainee to stay for a second season – and Graham is hoping to convince his new employers he deserves to stay on board.
"My one-year contract comes with an option and the idea is that I knuckle down and play a lot of games with a view to signing for another year," he said.
"I was at Northampton for four years and at Kettering for three, so I'm not normally a one-season wonder.
"I like to work hard and stay at a club, making a success of it, and that's what I want to do here.
"There are times when you have to make hard decisions about your career, but I hope I don't have to."
Graham spent most of last season on loan at Blue Square Premier North side King's Lynn, making 33 appearances.
He is hoping he can repeat the goalscoring form he showed in that spell to boost Mansfield's play-off ambitions.
Graham said: "Last year was the first time I had found myself out of the Kettering team, but they didn't really want to loan me out to another Blue Square Premier club.
"That's why I had to drop down a level at King's Lynn but it went pretty well there.
"I scored a few goals and helped them stay up.
"I have had a look at the top scorers in the Conference and there were not many defenders who got more than five goals.
"If I can add a minimum of five goals next season, then that is going to help the team's score."
With Gary Silk, Scott Garner and Luke Jones, along with keeper Alan Marriott, ready for next season, most of Mansfield's defence is already in place.
Graham feels that could give them a significant advantage over some of their rivals.
"This time of the year there are still a heck of a lot of clubs who haven't decided on a manager, let alone sorted out their budget," he said.
"It can be a bit of a scrapheap for players but David has got the go-ahead to bring people in.
"It's great that's he's getting a squad signed up early and I can't wait to get cracking.
"I'm a believer in working hard on getting things right on the training ground to help you get it right in games.
"Not everyone can play at the same time, but you need five or six strong defenders who can come in and do a job for the side.
"Having so many signed up so early means we can work on that."
Graham is well aware of what to expect at Field Mill, having already sampled the atmosphere as a teenager.
He is hoping the town gets behind the club's season-ticket offer – £195 for an adult seat – and says fans' backing is crucial.
Graham said: "I was at Northampton as a young boy but not in the side when we played Mansfield in the play-offs.
"I know from then that they have a passionate and vocal support who want us to get back in the Football League.
"I'm sure they will give us good support next season and also give us a kick up the backside if we need it."


Stags sign central defender
Evening Post, May 19, 2009

MANSFIELD Town have today signed central defender Luke Graham on a one-year deal.

The 23-year-old was at Kettering Town last season but spent much of the season on loan at King's Lynn.
He was part of the Poppies' squad to clinch the Conference North title in 2007-2008.
The former Northampton Town trainee has also spent a temporary spell at Forest Green Rovers.
"I'm absolutely delighted to have joined the club," said Graham.
"We have to be ambitious and say that we have to be in the play-offs next season."
Graham joins Luke Jones and Jake Speight in joining the Stags since the end of the 2008-2009 season.


Graham is latest signing
CHAD.co.uk, 20 May 2009
Cultured defender Luke Graham last night signed a one year deal with Mansfield Town as David Holdsworth's backline for next season heads towards completion.
The 23-year-old, who started his career at Northampton, was on the books at Kettering Town last season, but spent the majority of the campaign on loan to Kings Lynn.

He played a key part in Kettering's title winning season of 2007/08 when the Poppies claimed the Conference North championship.

Graham told mansfieldtown.net shortly after signing on the dotted line: "I'm absolutely delighted to have joined the club. I would have crawled across Trent Bridge just to sign for Mansfield.

"We have to be ambitious and say that we have to be in the play-offs next season," he added.


Former Cobbler Luke joins Stags
19 May 2009
Former Northampton Town defender Luke Graham has signed fir Mansfield Town on a one-year contract.
The 23-year-old spent much of last season on-loan from Kettering Town to King's Lynn in Blue Square North.

He was an instrumental figure the previous season at Rockingham Road, as Kettering won that division.

Graham becomes the second central defender to link up with the Stags this summer, following Luke Jones, who signed from Kidderminster Harriers.


Mansfield snap up defender Graham
BBC, 19 May 2009
Mansfield Town have signed former Northampton Town defender Luke Graham on a one-year contract.

The 23-year-old spent much of last season on-loan from Kettering Town to King's Lynn in Blue Square North.

He was an instrumental figure the previous season at Rockingham Road, as Kettering won that division.

Graham becomes the second central defender to link up with the Stags this summer, following Luke Jones, who signed from Kidderminster Harriers.


Clare close to a deal with Stags
Evening Post, May 20, 2009

DARYL Clare is close to agreeing a deal with Mansfield for next season, according to boss David Holdsworth.

The predatory striker joined the Stags on loan from Rushden and Diamonds at the end of last season.
By his own admission, Clare was not fully fit and scored just one goal – on his debut at Grays Athletic.
But the former Grimsby trainee, who has been a prolific goal-getter for the likes of Chester, Boston and Burton showed flashes of his potential in the closing stages of the campaign.
The 30-year-old has always stressed he is keen to stay on at Field Mill and hit the goals trail in 2009-10.
And Holdsworth says that scenario is now on the verge of becoming a reality.
"I am hoping that we could have sorted things with Daryl Clare, possibly before the weekend," said Holdsworth.
"I think if we can secure his services it sends a strong message to the fans about what we are about and where we want to go next season."
Holdsworth completed his third close-season capture by signing central defender Luke Graham, who was with Kettering last season.
The 23-year-old has signed a one-year deal with the option of a second and will vie for a starting berth along with Scott Garner and Luke Jones.
Holdsworth said: "I'm very pleased, delighted to have Luke on board. He gives me more height at the back and adds depth and strength to the squad.
"He's a decent player on the ball and a good organiser. Above all, he is a good quality player.
"He has a mentality and that's what we want around this club. He will fight hard to win a place din the side."
The Mansfield manager is still hopeful of more imminent captures and says a left-back is one of his priorities.
"I have spoken to a high-profile left-back and am hoping for a positive answer, but I have others in the pipeline of it does not come off," he said.
"I am also waiting for answers on a couple of other players who have played at Conference level."


Stags 'no' to Nelthorpe and Day
EVENING POST, May 19, 2009

CRAIG Nelthorpe and Rhys Day are unlikely to join Mansfield Town– but boss David Holdsworth is confident of tying up three 'exciting' deals by the end of the week.

Full story at Evening Post website here

Midfielder Nelthorpe's wage demands appear to have priced him out of a move to Field Mill, while central defender Day, 26, who has just left Aldershot, has indicated he is keen to stay in the Football League.
"I like Craig as a player and he expressed an interest in joining us," said Holdsworth.
"I had a chat with him, but we have to be realistic in what we can offer players.
"Rhys has expressed a desire to stay in the league at this moment in time. But I have two or three other contenders who can fulfil that same role."
As well as a central defender, Holdsworth is close to agreeing terms with a central midfielder and a striker.
And he is also working on a fourth deal – for a goalkeeper.
Holdsworth said: "Everything looks to be very healthy. It's exciting and it's fantastic to already have so many players in place for next season."
Nathan Arnold is set to leave Mansfield after contract talks have stalled.
The winger has made 104 league appearances since coming through the ranks, scoring 13 goals.
"I have sat down with Nathan and we haven't finalised anything, so I'm now looking at other opportunities," said Holdsworth.



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