BUXTON PREVIEWS /HIGGINSON JOINS GLAPWELL ON LOAN
Stags goalkeeper unlikely to return until final friendly of pre-season
EVENING POST, 30 JULY 2010
GOALKEEPER Alan Marriott is unlikely to play for Mansfield until their final friendly of pre-season at Alfreton a week tomorrow.
The Stags' first choice shot stopper missed last night's 3-1 friendly success at Eastwood Town with a stomach injury.
And boss David Holdsworth will take no chances to ensure the former Lincoln man is ft to start the season against Forest Green Rovers on August 14.
Neil Collett will continue to deputise at Buxton tomorrow and at Hucknall on Monday night.
"Mazza just has to rest what is a slight pull, but he should be in contention for Alfreton," said Holdsworth.
"The only others struggling are Steven Istead with his hamstring, Chris Smith, who took a whack against Eastwood, and Rob Duffy after his appendix operation.
"We are planning as if Rob is not going to be available for the start of the season, but he's desperate to get back and we will see how he goes over the next couple of weeks."
Mansfield fielded Jordan Fairclough, son of former Forest player Chris, In Thursday night's 3-1 victory at Eastwood.
The 18-year-old will hope for another chance to impress at Buxton tomorrow, where Holdsworth expects another testing encounter.
He said: "I think it will be a similar type of game to what we saw at Eastwood.
"I have got a lot of respect for John Reed (Buxton manager) and their club and it should be another good one for us.
"Our two-touch passing at Eastwood was excellent and at the end the game was quite stretched, but our fitness levels proved to be good. Hopefully we can see a continuation of that."
Striker Lee Gregory netted Mansfield's third goal at Coronation Park with a diving header from a Louis Briscoe cross.
Holdsworth was pleased with what he saw from the young hitman in that match.
"I thought Lee showed some excellent touches and he had a sharpness and fizz about him," he said.
"He gets is important areas between the sticks, which is where you want a striker, and it was a great header from him."
Cain knows he faces sink or swim time at Stags
Evening Post, 31 July 2010
HIS first team-bonding exercise was a white water rafting session – now Ashley Cain faces a sink or swim year as a Mansfield Town player.
As a Coventry City trainee, the speedy right-winger was used to the comfortable surroundings that a Championship club affords.
But after his release from the Sky Blues at the end of last season, the 19-year-old finds himself at the lower end of the professional ranks.
Here, there are no big stars, swanky cars or massive stadiums. It's football's version of economy class.
But if Cain is going to fulfil his ambitions of 'making it' at League level, he needs to succeed in the rugged world of the Blue Square Bet Premier.
Failure at this point means he is likely to drop off the radar of big clubs, something he will be keen to avoid, considering he gave up a potential career in athletics in the hope of emulating childhood heroes Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane.
"At the time my contract ran out at Coventry, I had to have an operation on torn ankle ligaments that kept me out for about two-and-a-half months," said Cain.
"I wanted somewhere to train to get back fit and my agent knows the gaffer (David Holdsworth).
"I was initially going to be at Mansfield for about ten days, but the longer I stayed, the more I enjoyed it.
"I liked the boys and I didn't really think about joining any other club and so it was a good idea to stay.
"I know this is an important time for me and it's not going to be easy, but I am confident in my ability.
"I've also been on loan in this division before at two of the top clubs last year, Luton and Oxford, so I know what to expect.
"They were good sides, but having trained with Mansfield, I think they like to play more football, which suits me and gives me a good chance of doing well."
Cain, who was ranked number one sprinter in the country at the ages of 14 and 15, has personal best times in the 100m and 200m of 10.8 and 22.6 seconds respectively.
He knows that counts for little in his fight to get in the Mansfield first team ahead of Adam Smith and Louis Briscoe.
Cain said: "My aim is to win a first team place – I wouldn't have signed here if I didn't think I could do it.
"I'm direct, like to get round people and put crosses in the box, as well as score a few goals.
"It's good that people like Kevin Sandwith and Steve Foster are here because they have lots of experience.
"They can help keep me and the rest of the squad on track and maintain our focus."
Gaunt strengthens his attacking options
Glapwell manager John Gaunt has moved to strengthen his attacking options for the coming season with the signing of two more front men this week, Conor Higginson and Gary Townsend.
Lively 18-year-old striker Conor Higginson rejoins Glapwell FC on loan from Blue Square Bet Premier side Mansfield Town in a first-half-of-the-season deal similar to the extended one that kept him at Hall Corner for the whole of last season, where he played a valuable part in the club's success by scoring ten goals and setting up another eleven in 38 first team appearances, 23 of those appearances coming from the bench.
A local player with a very bright future, Mansfield Town manager David Holdsworth will be hoping that Higginson's development can continue under Gaunt's watchful eye at Glapwell.
This was taken from the official Glapwell FC website.