STAGS SIGN LUKE FOSTER
20 January 2010
Stags sign Luke Foster from Oxford United for an undisclosed fee on an 18 month contract --->
video interview with Luke Foster --->
Stags swoop to sign Foster
Evening Post, January 20, 2010
MANSFIELD Town have beaten off interest from two promotion-chasing Blue Square Premier clubs to sign defender Luke Foster from Oxford United for an undisclosed fee.
The 24-year-old, who stands at 6 ft 2 in tall, has agreed an 18-month deal.
Foster began his career with Sheffield Wednesday as a trainee and loans spells at Alfreton Town and Scarborough followed.
The utility man went on to sign permanently for Lincoln City, before joining York City on loan. He then had a brief stint at Stalybridge Celtic and was soon snapped up by Oxford United boss Jim Smith in May 2007.
Foster was voted the Supporters' Player of the Year in his first season and went on to make 118 appearances for the promotion chasing Us.
Stags manager David Holdsworth said: "I am delighted Luke has decided to join us and I am very pleased with the capture of this very strong centre half.
"He has come here for the right reasons and sees us as potential promotion candidates.
"We have a great heartbeat here, directed from the chairman, and we play in front of some wonderful supporters. These factors have attracted Luke to us."
Stags land Foster
CHAD.co.uk, 20 January 2010
STAGS' BOSS David Holdsworth has today seen off interest from two promotion-chasing Blue Square Premier Clubs to claim the signature of Luke Foster from Oxford United for an undisclosed fee.
The 24-year-old, who stands at 6 ft 2ins tall has put pen to paper on 18 month deal.
Commanding defender Foster began his career with Sheffield Wednesday as a trainee and loans spells at Alfreton Town and Scarborough followed.
The utility man went on to sign permanently for Lincoln City, before joining York City on loan.
He then had a brief stint at Stalybridge Celtic and was soon snapped up by Oxford United boss Jim Smith in May 2007.
Foster was voted as the Supporters' Player of the Year in his first season and went on to make 118 appearances for the promotion chasing U's.
Manager David Holdsworth told the club's website http://www.mansfieldtown.net: "I am delighted Luke has decided to join us and I am very pleased with the capture of this very strong centre half."
He (Luke) has come here for the right reasons and sees us as potential promotion candidates.
"We have a great heartbeat here, directed from the Chairman, and we play in front of some wonderful supporters - these factors have attracted Luke to us"
New boy hoping to continue Foster dynasty at Stags
Evening Post, January 20, 2010
ALTHOUGH he will not realise it yet, Mansfield Town's latest recruit has quite an act to follow as a defender with the surname Foster.
First, in the 1970s, came Barry and Colin, who served the Stags with great dedication throughout the decade in clocking up more than 600 senior appearances between them.
Then, in the 1980s, there was George, a distinguished performer in the amber and blue, who appeared 461 times in all and also took over as manager towards the end of his career.
Now comes the next in line in the Foster dynasty – central defender Luke.
Signed by boss David Holdsworth from Oxford United on Wednesday, the 24-year-old has been drafted in to add defensive steel to a Mansfield side that has conceded eight goals in their last four games.
And if Mexborough-born Foster can come close to emulating the achievements of his namesakes, then few supporters will be complaining.
"It was a difficult decision to move because Oxford are doing so well and even then I was only going to leave for the right club," said Foster.
"But Mansfield are having a good season and I believe this is a great move for me.
"We are only halfway through and Mansfield might yet be up there with Oxford at the end of the season, you never know.
"It is a massive compliment that the manager has gone for me as the central defender he wants after looking for one for a while.
"It's nice to feel welcome; that someone wants to sign you and has confidence in you.
"You look round the ground and there is only Oxford and maybe one of two others who have better at this level.
"The training facilities are great and everyone – the staff, players, fans and board – all want to get back in the Football League.
"Hopefully this season, or if not next, we can all be celebrating a championship together."
The arrival of Foster ends Holdsworth's two-month search for a commanding figure at the heart of the defence.
He will vie for a starting berth with Luke Jones and Scott Garner, adding vital competition in that area following the departure of Luke Graham to York City.
Foster said: "I can be aggressive, but it's a case of doing it in the right manner. It's important in my position.
"You come up against tough strikers and you have to stand your ground in what is a very physical league.
"From my point of view I am still quite young at 24, but I have already played three or four years in this division.
"I have loan experiences that have helped me massively. I was on loan at Scarborough from Sheffield Wednesday at 17 in the Conference. That is vital experience that you can't replicate."
Foster made more than 100 appearances at Oxford, some of those as captain.
He would love to be given the armband at Mansfield, where it has been passed between Gary Mills, Luke Jones, Scott Garner, Ryan Williams and Gary Silk this season.
"I would take it as a massive compliment if I was named captain, but it's not been spoken about yet.
"I'd like to think I've got decent leadership skills and I'm a good talker and organiser out on the pitch," said Foster.
"You have to have 11 captains out there, so it doesn't make all that much difference."
Foster had no doubts Mansfield was the right club for him after being told he could leave the Kassam Stadium.
He said: "Pretty much as soon as I met the gaffer I wanted to sign up for him straight away.
"I would love to make a real go of it here. I am near my family in South Yorkshire.
"The move could have been at the other end of the country but this is perfect for me. It feels like home already.
"I have signed for 18 months, but there is no reason why I can't stay longer if it goes well."
Holdsworth happy to get his man
CHAD.co.uk, 21 January 2010
DAVID Holdsworth was delighted to get his man after Luke Foster finally agreed to join Mansfield Town yesterday.
The Stags boss had been chasing the 24-year-old Oxford United centre half for a while but, just when it looked like wages may be a sticking point, Foster decided to head north and provide Holdsworth with the dominant, aggressive stopper he felt he was missing in the heart of his defence.
"Luke is someone of stature and I have been looking for that for a couple of months," said Holdsworth.
"We have had a lot of responsibility on our two younger centre halves here.
"There will always be a time when a young lad has an up then takes a dip in form and young Scott Garner has had a lot of responsibility recently.
"He will be encouraged to keep working hard and get his form back.
"But when a big, established player at this level becomes available you are delighted to get him.
"It was a nervous 24 hours for me after seeing the player and trying to sell him the club. When a player goes out your door you wonder if you will ever see him again in your shirt.
"He did leave it later than I wanted as I get up early but I am delighted he agreed to join us."
Following on the heels of striker Jon Shaw last week and the permanent deal to keep Leeds loanee Ollie Hotchkiss, Holdsworth admitted that was probably the end of the incoming players in this January transfer window.
"I already have a strong squad and Luke's arrival will give us even more competition for places.
"So that could well be the finish now, though technically I am always on the lookout."
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