Mansfield to provide Brookbanks with sternest test to date
Evening Post, 2 Aug 2010
THE fledgling Tommy Brookbanks era at Hucknall Town faces its sternest test yet when Blue Square Bet Premier side Mansfield Town roll into Watnall Road tonight.
Since joining from Carlton this summer, the Yellows manager has totally reconstructed the squad.
That has, so far at least, seen Hucknall thrive, securing wins over Long Eaton, Gedling MW, Arnold, among others, prior to Saturday's 0-0 draw with Eastwood Town.
But none have posed the same threat as David Holdsworth's Mansfield, who have signed the likes of Keigan Parker, Tyrone Thomas and Paul Connor, who scored twice in Stags' 4-2 win at Buxton on Saturday.
"It is most definitely our toughest game of pre-season, which we have been building up to in our other matches," said Brookbanks.
We had Ilkeston, which was a step up from our first few friendlies and then Eastwood which was a step up from that.
"Playing Mansfield is even more of a challenge, because they are a full-time club and not long out of the Football League."
Hucknall's 4-1 victory over Ilkeston last midweek saw Deon Chambers score his first goal for the Yellows, with Darryl Thomas, Martin Ball and Tristram Whitman also netting.
The 19-year-old former Derby County and Swansea player has agreed a deal at Watnall Road and also new on the books is striker Joe Harris, another 19-year-old who was once on the books at Derby.
Brookbanks said: "At 6ft 2ins he is the kind of target man we were looking for and probably the final piece in my jigsaw."
Steve Chaplin will miss the clash with Mansfield with an ankle injury, while skipper Paul Smith is unavailable.