Woodhouse: Why I left Stags
Evening Post, June 20, 2009
CURTIS Woodhouse today insisted his overwhelming desire to become a boxing champion forced him to turn his back on Mansfield Town.
The 29-year-old has left the full-time surroundings of Field Mill to join part-time Blue Square North side Harrogate Town.
It will allow him to spend more time pursuing his career in the ring, where he has ten wins and one defeat at welterweight.
"I couldn't delegate the time that was required to play at Mansfield," said Woodhouse.
"I didn't want to play for them unless I could give 100 per cent. I didn't want to do it half-hearted and let people down.
"At Harrogate I don't need to go in for training, just turn up to play games – and that suits me.
"I really enjoyed my time at Mansfield and it's a shame to leave, but it's something I have to do if I want to fulfil my aim of becoming a British champion.
"There is only so much your body can take and in my last fight I had no energy, which I think is because of playing 40 games last season.
"If I don't make it, I can live with it if I have not got enough talent, but not if it's because playing full-time football hampered me."
Woodhouse – David Holdsworth's first signing – believes the Mansfield boss can finish what he has started.
He said: "There looks to be a good blend of experience. Louis Briscoe and Scott Garner will feel the benefit of last season and Daryl Clare guarantees goals.
"It would be great if Harrogate could draw Mansfield in the Setanta Shield.
"But I will be back at some point, hopefully next year, because I want to come and knock out (Mansfield's) Karl Chiverton."
Harrogate Advertiser, 18 June 2009
Harrogate Town have pulled off a major transfer coup by signing former Sheffield United player and professional boxer Curtis Woodhouse.
Town boss Simon Weaver said he was delighted to add midfielder Woodhouse to his squad: "Curtis is a fantastic signing for the club.
"It's a big capture and everyone has been working hard to bring him here. It's a big day for Harrogate Town and I'm sure he'll be a success at the club."
Stags chairman Andy Perry told the Mansfield Chad: "With continuing his boxing I don't think Curtis was ever going to be part of David Holdsworth's plans for next season. Curtis was told that so he wouldn't be hanging round. He was told if an opportunity came up elsewhere and he wanted it, then to take it.
"If nothing arose then we would have sat down and spoken again. It wouldn't work next season with the boxing as well. That is not the way forward for us. We are full time professionals and committed to one thing.
"Curtis has played at the top and been great for the club. He is inspirational in training. But at this stage of his career it is down to what Curtis wants out of life. Last season was the last time he could play at this level and continue to progress his boxing career to a higher level.
"He wants to continue his boxing regime and moving to a part time club where he will probably only have to train a couple of evenings a week is ideal for him. We wish him every success."
O'Connor joins Diamonds
16 June 2009, By Mark Lea
Aaron O'Connor has finally joined Rushden & Diamonds – three years after a deal broke down.
The striker looked set for a move to Nene Park immediately following relegation back into the Conference in the summer of 2006 when boss Paul Hart invited him for a pre-season trial due to his prolific form at Gresley Rovers.
O'Connor featured in friendlies – including home games against Nottingham Forest and Reading – before Hart decided to instead opt for Michael Rankine.
But now the 25-year-old has signed for Diamonds just a few days since Rankine joined Blue Square Premier rivals York City in exchange for Craig Farrell plus £10,000.
The free transfer from Mansfield Town also reunites O'Connor with Justin Edinburgh, who had previously taken him to Grays Athletic.
Diamonds manager Edinburgh said: "I bought him from Gresley and paid a small fee for him at the time.
"So he's someone who I know inside out, having worked with him for a while.
"His record at a lower level certainly suggests that he's a natural goal-scorer if he gets the right service.
"I feel he also knows what I expect from him – particularly because, like Craig Farrell, he brings a phenomenal work-rate.
"He's another signing who comes here at a good age in his career and he can score goals as well if we give him an opportunity to do that."
O'Connor has signed a one-year contract with an option for Diamonds to extend the deal at the end of next season.
Last season O'Connor scored eight goals for Mansfield (EDIT by Martin - he scored nine) and struck twice in three minutes against Diamonds as Grays won 3-1 in March 2007.
Steelmen add Mayo to squad
12 June 2009
Paul Mayo is confident he can help Corby Town gain successive promotions.
The left-back joined the Steelmen yesterday and brings with him well over 200 games of Football League experience.
And he is happy that he will be playing in a side competing at the top of Blue Square North next season.
"It's an impressive set-up for a club in Conference North," the former Lincoln City, Notts County and Watford man said.
"Graham (Drury) is an up-and-coming young manager who has had success already and the club is all geared to go places.
"The team – on paper – is as strong as any at this level. There is a lot of League games between the players we've got in the squad here.
"I definitely think the challenge will be for promotion and there is no reason why we can't be up there."
And Drury is understandably delighted to have secured another impressive capture.
"Paul's got a lot of energy to give," he added.
"He can play left-back, left side of midfield and even as a left-sided centre-half.
"He's very fit, a good organiser, a good talker and with a lot of League experience behind him.
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