STAGS SIGN GEORGE PILKINGTON AND GODFREY POKU
Cox makes double signing
mansfieldtown.net, Tue 19 Jun 2012
Manager Paul Cox has today made a double swoop in the transfer market by snapping up experienced centre-half George Pilkington and promising central midfielder Godfrey Poku.
Ex-Everton trainee Pilkington (right) was a regular at the heart of Luton Town's defence for the past three seasons and won numerous awards in his time at the Bedfordshire club
Prior to his stint at Kenilworth Road, the-30-year-old made over 250 Football League appearances for Port Vale between 2003 to 2008.
After putting pen to paper with us this afternoon, Pilkington said: "It's a great opportunity for me to come to a club who finished strongly in the league last season and were unfortunate not to go all the way [and gain promotion].
"After speaking to the manager [Paul Cox] it felt like I had known him for years and I believed in everything which he had to say.
"I believe this is a club which is going places. There will be a number of clubs up there challenging next season, including us, I'm sure.
21-year-old midfielder Poku came to life last season whilst on loan at Southport, where the midfielder played an integral role in the Sandgrounders' impressive 7th placed finish in the Blue Square Bet Premier.
Formerly with St Albans City, Poku joined Luton in January 2010 before enjoying a six month loan move to Southport last summer.
Because the player is under 24 years of age, we are currently in negotiations with Poku's former club Luton Town regarding a fee for the player.
On the pair's signing, manager Paul Cox said: "I was impressed by Poku on every occasion which I saw him play for Southport last season. He will add strength and physicality to our midfield. I believe he will play in the Football League in the future.
"Pilks' signing is a major coup for the club. He has been one of the better centre halves in the conference/League Two in the past few seasons and will add experience, leadership and a strong presence to our defence."
The contracts of both Pilkington and Poku will commence on 01 July
video interview with George Pilkington
Pilkington: Stags offer too good to turn down
Thursday 28 June 2012
THE stabililty of a two-year contract was the main reason behind captain George Pilkington's decision to leave Luton and join Mansfield Town last week, writes Mike Simmonds.
The club captain, who is now 30, made 172 appearances for Town after signing in July 2008 and confirmed he had been offered a deal to stay at Kenilworth Road.
But he turned it down in favour of a longer contract at Field Mill, with his new club's location also playing a part in the decision.
Speaking exclusively to the News/Gazette, Pilkington said: “Mansfield offered a two-year contract which as I'm 31 this year massively appealed to myself.”
For the full interview, see the Luton News/Dunstable Gazette on sale now
Pilkington backs Poku to be a hit at Mansfield
Published on Saturday 30 June 2012
FORMER Town midfielder Godfrey Poku has been backed to be a success at Mansfield by his new team-mate George Pilkington, writes Mike Simmonds.
The pair both signed for the Stags last week and Pilkington, who was Town's captain, is confident Poku will shine at Field Mill.
He said: “Luton were blessed with a really good squad, so that's why Godfrey went out on loan and did really well for himself.
“Towards the end of the season, he was coming into the side and then it was a shame he picked the injury up when he did really well.
“It meant he missed out on the business end of the season which would have been good for him.
“His future could have been so different had he been involved, but it's a good move for him.
“It means he'll be playing regular first team football. For any young lad, that's what you need.
“You get that experience under your belt and I think he needs that to bring him on as a player.
“His work-rate is phenomenal, he's decent on the ball, he just needs to learn the game a bit more and the only way of doing that is by playing matches.”
Mansfield are expected to be one of Town's main challengers for promotion this season, but Pilkington thought the division was too close to call.
He added: “I think this season is the most open it has been for a long time. It's hard to predict who's going to run away with it this season.
“It's very, very open and I'm sure Luton will be up there competing, if not leading the way, and hopefully Mansfield will be in and amongst the pack.”
Stags snare Pilkington and Poku
MansfieldTown have raided Luton for defender George Pilkington and midfielder Godfrey Poku.
The latter snubbed a new deal to stay at KenilworthRoad last week but the departure of the Hatters captain comes after he also rejected a contract extension.
The 30-year-old made 162 appearances in four seasons at the club, where he was part of the 2009 Johnstone's Paint Trophy winning side.
Hatters boss Paul Buckle said: "The first I heard of it was on the Mansfield site. The truth is we offered George a deal to his agent and he's signed for Mansfield. It's the player's prerogative.
"George called me and told me it was one of the hardest decisions he's had to make and I really respect and appreciate that. He's a true pro and a real gent.
"I'd like to thank George for his contribution and efforts and wish him well at his new club."
After putting pen to paper with the Field Mill outfit Pilkington told Mansfield's official website: “It's a great opportunity for me to come to a club who finished strongly in the league last season and were unfortunate not to go all the way [and gain promotion].
“After speaking to the manager [Paul Cox] it felt like I had known him for years and I believed in everything which he had to say.
“I believe this is a club which is going places. There will be a number of clubs up there challenging next season, including us, I'm sure.”
Cox said: “Pilks' signing is a major coup for the club. He has been one of the better centre halves in the conference/League Two in the past few seasons and will add experience, leadership and a strong presence to our defence."
The two clubs are in negotiations over a fee for Poku's switch because he is under 24 years of age.
Cox said:“I was impressed by Poku on every occasion which I saw him play for Southport [on loan] last season. He will add strength and physicality to our midfield. I believe he will play in the Football League in the future.”
PILKS & POKU COMPLETE SWITCH TO STAGS
Posted on: Tue 19 Jun 2012
The Hatters have learned that captain George Pilkington and Godfrey Poku have agreed terms with Mansfield Town.
Town boss Paul Buckle and managing director Gary Sweet heard of the duo's move via the official Mansfield website.
We had already reported that midfielder Poku had decided against signing a new deal at Kenilworth Road, and 30-year-old Pilkington's decision to make the move to Field Mill comes after the centre-back had also rejected a contract extension offered by Buckle.
For Pilkington, it brings to a close his career at Kenilworth Road where he made 162 appearances across four seasons and was a member of the victorious Johnstone's Paint Trophy winning side in 2009.
Buckle told lutontown.co.uk: "The first I heard of it was on the Mansfield site. The truth is we offered George a deal to his agent but he's agreed to sign for Mansfield. It's the player's perogative
"George called me and told me it was one the hardest decisions he's had to make and I really respect and appreciate that. He's a true pro, and a real gent.
"I'd like to thank George for his contribution and efforts and wish him well at his new club."
Watson moving on from Poku loss
Liam Watson has accepted Godfrey Poku's decision to join Mansfield Town, but the Southport manager remains firm on Andy Owen's situation at the club.
The Sandgrounders boss was keen to sign Poku for this coming season after the midfielder rejected a new deal at Luton Town.
However, the 21-year-old opted to join Blue Square Bet Premier rivals Stags instead, which Watson reckons was a mistake but won't dwell on the loss going forward.
"Obviously I have been in regular communication concerning Godfrey Poku but the appeal of full time football tipped the balance for Godfrey," he told his club's official website.
"He is a great lad and we all wish him well. I believe he would have been better with us and I have told him that but after Godfrey rejected Luton's offer he was entitled to make his mind up. We move on and I have targets which will kick us on."
Poku rejected deal over interest from other clubs
BY JAMES CUNLIFFE
Offers from other clubs saw Godfrey Poku snub a new deal to stay at Luton, Paul Buckle believes.
Negotiations had been taking place between the manager and his representative, former Hatters hero Kevin Nicholls – now a football agent – but they broke down.
A bid has also been tabled by another club which the Hatters rebuffed but Buckle believes the 21-year-old has agreed a deal elsewhere, with rumours linking him to Conference rivals Mansfield.
The Luton boss said: “I've not spoken to Godders because he's been away on holiday for quite a while, but I've been speaking to Nico regarding it.
“I said to him, 'if Godders doesn't want to be at Luton then he's got to move on'.
“We offered him a deal that we thought was right but someone is obviously willing to pay him a lot more money, that's how I see this one.
“He turned it down because he's already got a deal somewhere else. This is what happens. When they're out of contract they can talk to as many clubs as they like."
NEGOTIATIONS BROKE DOWN - BUCKLE
Posted on: Fri 15 Jun 2012
Town boss Paul Buckle has confirmed reasons why midfielders Robbie Willmott and Godfrey Poku have rejected new contracts with the club.
Poku, 21, and Willmott, 22, have decided against renewing their deals at Kenilworth Road having made 96 appearances between them in their time with the club.
On Willmott, Buckle told lutontown.co.uk: "We had been discussing terms verbally with Robbie's agent.
"Unfortunately we could not agree and therefore negotiations broke down.
"We had our own valuation of him, and his agent had another figure in mind, which is fine. We wish Robbie well wherever he ends up."
On Poku, Buckle added: "Godfrey rejected our offer. We have, however, received an offer for him which, rightly, the Club has flatly refused. Again, we assessed our own valuation of what contribution Godfrey would make to our team which the player and agent clearly didn't agree with.
"I believe he has agreed terms with another club and should it go to a tribunal I am confident we can receive a satisfactory sum."
The club will be making no further comment on this story
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