12th STAG CONTRIBUTE TO RHEAD WAGES
12th Stag donate towards Rhead wages
mansfieldtown.net, Mon 06 Feb 2012
The 12th Stag have donated £4,000 towards the wages of striker Matt Rhead, who recently signed for us until the end of the season.
After discussions with the manager, it was decided that 12th Stag would donate the money to free up funds in Paul Cox's playing budget for future transfers.
Speaking to mansfieldtown.net, Cox said: "I'd like to thank the 12th Stag for this latest contribution.
"The help from sources such as this is very useful at this stage of the season," he added
Rhead is determined to play more than a bit-part
Nottingham Post, Monday, February 06, 2012
BY sealing a deadline-day move to Field Mill on Tuesday, Matt Rhead is walking down a path rarely trodden by Mansfield Town players, certainly since World War Two.
Joining the Football League for the start of the 1931-32 season, a fully professional staff has been the norm for the Stags since that lofty elevation, even though there are sure to have been exceptions, particularly in those early days.
Rhead, though, has joined the Stags on a part-time basis, sharing his role out on the pitch with his career working for JCB in his native Stoke.
The fact the 27-year-old has been allowed to join on such terms – possibly the first to do so in more than 50 years – shows the value put on him by manager Paul Cox, who is well acquainted with his new arrival from their days together at Eastwood.
Yet, as far as Rhead is concerned, he is a semi-professional in name only and is determined it will not harm his chances of being a major contributor for Mansfield between now and the end of the season.
"I think I can work it out between the two. I believe I can cope with the standard of play, it's just a matter of having the fitness," he said.
"I won't be training full-time, but I'll be training at night with Eastwood and also doing extra sessions on my own to make sure I'm in the best possible shape for Mansfield.
"I know Rammers (John Ramshaw) at Eastwood and I'm sure he'll communicate with Mansfield.
"I want to play at the highest level I can, but you never know what is going to happen and, with a young family, sacrificing my job to chance it for a few months was too big a risk to take.
"I have a pretty good job and I didn't really want to jack that in and I think this best for both parties between now and the end of the season.
"If all goes well and everyone is happy then maybe we can look at sorting out something full-time for next season."
Former Kidsgrove and Nantwich man Rhead will have to wait a little while longer to get his first taste of first-team action after Saturday's scheduled home clash with Darlington was called off.
He did, however, get the chance to train with his new team-mates as a result of the postponement. Among those were familiar faces in the shape of ex-Badgers Lindon Meikle, Lee Stevenson and coach Andy Todd, plus another former colleague now well known to Mansfield fans.
Rhead said: "There is nothing worse than going into a club and not knowing anyone so you are starting from scratch.
"But I have played with Lindon, Stevo and Toddy at Eastwood and I know Sutts (Ritchie Sutton) from Nantwich.
"The fact some of those lads have come from part-time and done well, with good players around them, gives you the hope that you can do the same when you get the chance."
Rhead formed a close bond with Cox during their respective stays at Coronation Park and the two discussed a move to Mansfield in the summer.
But that never came about and the burly striker instead joined Corby Town of the Blue Square Bet North, where he bagged 13 goals in 24 games.
Even so, Rhead had no hesitation in linking up once more with his old gaffer and believes he will have much to offer.
Mansfield beat off teams understood to have included Kidderminster, Forest Green, Telford, Tamworth and Altrincham to land their man.
"When Corby said they were willing to let me go, I wanted to move somewhere closer to home because there was quite a bit of travelling involved," said Rhead.
"I had quite a few phone calls, but once Paul Cox showed an interest, that was it for me.
"It's a big club with a nice ground and great support as well as a good squad. I have worked with the manager before and that was a massive factor.
"He definitely gets the best out of me and I quickly knew after he first signed me that he would help my development.
"It's a higher league and better standard and a challenge for myself, one I believe I can meet."
Rhead was involved with the Eastwood side that stormed to fourth in the Blue Square Bet North with a 19-game unbeaten run in the second half of last season.
He sees no reason why Mansfield can't do a similar thing this campaign, having already started the year six games unbeaten, to clinch a place in the play-off spots and then the Football League.
"I wouldn't have signed for the club if I didn't think there was a possibility of them going up," he said.
"It is all about momentum and confidence, which was what happened at Eastwood, so long as you stay in touch with the play-offs.
"I want to win things and I'm sure the manager and the supporters feel the same.
"If we get in the play-offs then I think we can do really well.
"We can definitely get out of the Conference this season if things go to plan."
At 6ft 4ins and bulky too, Rhead is often pigeon-holed as a target man, a battering ram for others to feed off.
But he believes that while he can fulfil that role, he can also weigh in with important goals too.
Rhead said: "I have played up front on my own before and held the ball, but I have also chipped in with a few.
"Ideally I can combine the two roles together and do my bit for the team.
"I'm certainly looking forward to the opportunity of playing with people like Matt Green. I think we would play well together.
"I watched him the other weekend and saw just how quick he was running in behind defenders. I am prepared to fight out the aerial battles, so hopefully we will click straight away."
Mansfield fans will hope so too. If Rhead can hit the ground running at Blue Square Bet Premier level, he might just be the final piece in the puzzle for the Stags in their quest for promotion back to football's elite 92
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