FEATURE ON SCOTT RICKARDS
Mansfield Town's future is in good hands with ex-Lambs star Scott
Tamworth Herald, By MATT PANTER, May 12, 2016
SCOTT Rickards says working with young footballers is proving as rewarding as when he played the game.
The ex-Derby County youth player is currently head of recruitment and youth development at Mansfield, helping the club's under-18s secure the Football League Youth Alliance.
It was the Stags first-ever season at the league level and they clinched the title after a 2-0 win at Grimsby Town in Lincolnshire.
Rickards said: "We have done really well.
"We have played well all season and have been up there for the majority of it.
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"We won our fair share of games early on but we never really thought about winning the league.
"We were just following the route of 'taking each game as it comes'.
"All of a sudden, though, we noticed teams were slipping up and we thought 'we have got a chance' here.
"It went down to the last game of the season and we managed to get the job done.
"It was fantastic and I have been proud to be a part of it."
For Rickards, watching young players develop has been really rewarding.
He said: "We had a lad, Zayn Hakeem, make his debut for the first team against Cambridge at the weekend.
"Cain Smith and Tom Marriott, who we recruited from West Brom and Derby County, have also been in and around the first-team squad.
"I think that backs up the youth set-up here really.
"We have got a good bunch of lads here who have really brought into what we are trying to do.
"And it has been fantastic working with them.
"I have had the experience on the playing side of it but I have to say I am enjoying the coaching side of things.
"It's rewarding, especially when you see one of the lads make the first-team picture.
"That's what every young player wants to achieve, it is their dream and part of my job is trying to help them do that.
"When you see them make that step up, they make that progress, it's job done. You want to see them go on to bigger and better things.
"I see us as trying to give them a good platform from which to really kick on."
Rickards, who still plays Sunday League football for the Tamworth Arms Galacticos, believes that coaching, rather than management is where his future lies.
And he says he is enjoying every minute of working alongside Mansfield boss Adam Murray, his former Derby team-mate.
"I did have a stint in management at Rainworth Miners Welfare," he added.
"I realised that I enjoyed the coaching side of things rather than the management side, dealing with budgets and wages etc.
"You have to try things out to find your path and for me I feel my best role is in helping the development of players," he said.
"This is a good job to have at Mansfield and it's been great working with Muzza (Adam Murray).
"He knows what I can offer to the coaching team.
"He's a good young manager who has done really well and has been linked with higher profile clubs.
"You look at what he is achieving and know that his journey in football will see him continue on an upward path and it's good to be part of that journey with him right now."
Latest | May 2016