NAYLOR ATTRACTING INTEREST / GROF / LEE STEVENSON
Stags star attracting interest
Naylor catching the eye at Field Mill
By Pete O'Rourke, skysports.com - Follow me on Twitter @skysportspeteo
Last Updated: May 12, 2011
Naylor: Being tracked by a host of clubs after displays for Mansfield
Skysports.com understands a number of Championship and League One clubs are tracking Mansfield defender Tom Naylor.
Naylor has caught the eye with the Stags this season after bursting onto the scene in January.
The highly-rated 19-year-old has come through the ranks with the Blue Square Premier club and he enjoyed a spell training with Doncaster during pre-season last summer after being spotted by the club's coaching staff.
Naylor, who is entering the final year of his contract, has made 17 appearances for the FA Trophy finalists this term and his performances have not gone unnoticed higher up the football pyramid.
The likes of Leeds, Hull City, Preston, Rochdale and Notts County are all thought to be keeping tabs on Naylor's progress.
Naylor's agent, Jermaine Blackwood of Star Management Signings, admits the player is flattered by the interest, but is focused on doing his best for Mansfield.
"Tom is flattered but remains totally unfazed by the interest shown in him by league clubs and is 100 per cent focused on doing his best for Mansfield Town," Blackwood told skysports.com.
"He is a Mansfield lad and wants to help the club win some silverware and win promotion from the Conference Premier."
Naylor key to Stags' future hopes
MANSFIELD Town should be looking to build a side around Tom Naylor as he completes his footballing education, believes Paul Hall.
The teenage central defender has been a stand-out performer in the second half of the season after becoming a first-team regular.
That has alerted the interest of several Football League clubs keen to sign him.
But Naylor's agent Jermaine Blackwood has stressed that Naylor – under contractor for 2011-12 – is happy with the Stags.
Caretaker-boss Hall believes staying with his hometown club would be in the former Ashfield School pupil's best interests.
"I have spoken to Tom's mum and dad and they are happy for him to be here at this moment," he said.
"He has got a great future ahead of him at a high level, but he needs to develop that little bit more before moving up. And while he is here, he can try to help us win promotion.
"We have had no firm offers for him and to be honest, we're not interested anyway.
"If I got the job and I am going to be successful, then I need Tom here and I'm confident he will be.
"The local boys like Tom and Conor Higginson take pride in wearing the Mansfield shirt and we need to build the side around them."
Grof Told He Can Leave Notts County
mansfield103.co.uk, May 16
Goalkeeper David Grof is one of eight players told that their contracts won't be renewed at Notts County.
That will be of interest to Mansfield Town where Grof was on loan for the final part of the season.
The other players looking for new clubs are Kevin Smith, Alan Gow, Febian Brandy, Graeme Lee and Njogu Demba-Nyren.
And Liam Chilvers and Jon Harley have been told they can leave even though they are still under contract
Goal machine Stevenson issues come-and-get-me plea to Stags
Evening Post, 12 May 2011
GOAL-machine Lee Stevenson has today issued a come-and-get-me plea to Mansfield Town and other ambitious Blue Square Bet Premier clubs.
The Eastwood Town midfielder is one of the hottest properties in non-league football after blasting 96 goals in his last three seasons, including 35 in the campaign just finished.
Stevenson had hoped to fulfil his dream of playing full-time with the Badgers by helping them to promotion via the play-offs after finishing fourth.
But the club was denied the right to compete against Boston, Telford and Guiseley because their Coronation Park ground was deemed unsuitable, sixth-placed Nuneaton taking their place.
Stevenson, who works as a postman and also coaches junior players in his native Sheffield, was devastated by that news.
And although he still has two years left to run on his Eastwood deal after signing from Belper Town last summer, he admits his future could now lie elsewhere, even though the Badgers are set to be taken over on June 1.
That is sure to alert a number of non-league's biggest hitters, which could include the Stags if chairman John Radford can win ownership of Field Mill this summer.
The businessman has gone on record as saying that scenario would trigger major investment in the playing budget, meaning a fee for under-contract Stevenson would be no problem.
Whether the Stags would pursue the 26-year-old is unclear, but the player himself would relish a move to north-Nottinghamshire – or another club of similar standing.
"I really want to have a crack at playing professionally and I feel I'm at an age where I have to go for it now or it might never happen," said Stevenson.
"After the season I have had, I know I can score goals at a higher level – I scored four against Rushden and Diamonds in the cup. I just need an opportunity to prove myself.
"I want it badly and somewhere like Mansfield would be fantastic, especially as it is local to me.
"I have already had a couple of clubs who are very interested, but I can't say too much more about that.
"In my head, I think my future now lies elsewhere than Eastwood."
Latest | May 2011