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Archived News from May 2016

STAGS SIGN GEORGE TAFT
31st May 2016 21:29


Commanding defender joins Stags
mansfieldtown.net, 26th May 2016

We are delighted to announce the signing of former Burton Albion defender George Taft on a free transfer.

The 22-year-old is primarily a centre-half but can also be deployed at left-back and he becomes the second signing in as many days after Bury striker Danny Rose put pen-to-paper at One Call Stadium yesterday.

The 6ft 5in Leicester City Academy product previously won promotion from League 2 with the Brewers in the 2014/15 season, during which he made 30 appearances.

A former England schoolboy, Taft represented his country at under 18 level where he scored his only international goal against Poland in 2010, before appearing five times for the under 19s.

The defender most recently spent time on loan at Cambridge United in the first half of the 2015/16 campaign, but his season was cut short due to a tear to his anterior cruciate ligament.

"This is an important move for me," said Taft. "After missing a lot of football last year for six months, I have to work even harder now and want to impress here.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/commanding-defender-joins-stags-3126930.aspx#S7xkq88pLHHm7jaz.99

"The mindset and the belief which the gaffer (Adam Murray) has shown and what he believes the season can hold were factors which persuaded me to sign. I know a few of the lads here also and they have said how good the set-up is."

The defender's contract will begin on 01 July 2016. The deal is subject to Football League approval

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Taft praises Murray influence after signing
mansfieldtown.net, 26th May 2016

Central defender George Taft says manager Adam Murray was a vital part of his decision to join the Stags.

The former Burton Albion man put pen-to-paper on a deal at One Call Stadium earlier today after manager Murray swooped to bring him to the club following his release from the Pirelli Stadium.

And Taft, who won promotion from League 2 with the Brewers two season ago, says the manager’s vision was a key element in his decision to sign.

“It’s obviously a big stadium, I like the look of everything and everything that’s going on at the minute, the work that’s getting put in, it’s looking good,” Taft said.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/taft-praises-murray-influence-after-signing-3127359.aspx#l6q8Rwhtr6sYDorM.99

“The mindset and the belief in what the gaffer’s shown in what he reckons the season can hold [was a big reason in my decision to sign].

“I know a few of the lads down here and they’ve said how good the set up and stuff [is], so it’s drawn my attention to the club.”

Prior to signing with Adam Murray’s men, the 22-year-old spoke with friend and former team-mate Adi Yussuf who ‘twisted his arm’ to join the Stags.

“We played together for a couple of years and I’m good mates with him anyway. He’s just said about last season; I saw a few games last season and obviously looked at the results [and] they did well and he wants to push on from there, the gaffer and the chairman, everyone [wants to push on], and Adi’s given me that confidence in the team.

“[He] was the first person I spoke to. I asked him the logistics, training, facilities, what the gaffer’s like, the lads and he’s given me a positive outlook.”

After seeing Leicester and Burton enjoy incredible success last season, Taft says the triumphs of his two former clubs spurs him on to create more memorable moments of his own.

“Watching Burton winning and getting promotion and being around that team, that’s really spurred me on. I’m a Leicester fan so watching that, everything just makes you believe and think that anything can happen so I just want to get on the pitch now,” Taft said.

“It was a good experience, obviously going up as champions was good and obviously I want to feel that again and this could be the club to do it, hopefully.”

The 6ft 5in defender suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury whilst on loan at Cambridge United last season and is now looking forward to ‘making up for lost time’.

“I was out on loan at Cambridge and ruptured my ACL (anterior cruciate ligament); it obviously happens and I’ve just got to bounce back and now I’m just looking to work hard, get my fitness there and get my games back.

“With an injury like this, you kind of spend more time on your body and you know more about yourself so it can only benefit me.”

Supporters can watch Taft’s full interview on Stags Player HD.

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Stags boss Murray excited by quality signings
chad.co.uk, John Lomas

Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray said he was excited this week after signing two quality players that have already both tasted promotion from League Two.

The arrival of Bury striker Danny Rose was followed by the signing of 6ft 5ins centre half George Taft from Burton Albion, a move made to cover the likely loss of player of the season Ryan Tafazolli, probably to Peterborough United.

“The big thing about these two signings is they are both winners,” said Murray.

Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/stags-boss-murray-excited-by-quality-signings-1-7940577#ixzz4AGARlfP3

“They are both young guys, both 22, with an unbelievable hunger to not only be successful for Mansfield Town and the team they are coming into, but also to be successful in their own career and push on again.

“Both can play at a much higher level than League Two and both have a fantastic drive to achieve that, and to do it with Mansfield Town.

“It’s great to have two young guys in who have already got promoted from this league - to have that focus and that vision, that know-how of how to win.

“We spoke about it last season. You need to know how to win. For some individuals that’s just ingrained in you from when you are a whippersnapper in nappies. I believe these two guys we’ve brought in are winners.

On the arrival of Taft, he said: “With the way the situation with Ryan was unfolding as the season was going on, we needed to have some plans in place.

“We feel that George is potentially one of the best left-sided defenders around. He is only 22, has already won League Two, and comes from a great pedigree.

“I watched him a lot at Leicester in their U21s. Then he went to Burton and had a great time. So we had our targets set early doors

“Obviously things take time to come to the point where you get to dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s, but we’ve finally got it done.

“He has a bit of an injury last season, so we had to make sure everything was okay on that front. Then we’ve come to a deal that we feel is right for the player and right for the club.

“Now we can’t wait to get going. He brings a massive presence to us.”

Murray added: “He is 6ft 5ins so we’ve gained an inch on Ryan.

“He has a superb left foot and his ability to play out from the back and his distribution forward are of a very high quality.

“He is very intelligent, has decent pace, reads the game well and commands his back four and 18 yard box. So we are chuffed to bits to get this signing done. I am really, really excited by this one and can’t wait to work with him.”

Despite his height, Taft is equally at home at left back.

“When Jimmy (Hasselbaink) first put him at left back at Burton in the promotion season I watched him play there a few times, as he had a good few appearances there, and he was outstanding.

“It was surprising to have someone so big playing a full back position. “It’s not very often seen, but he was fantastic in that position and I think the ability to play in multi-positions, as we saw with our squad last season, is vitally important. It allows you to play different shapes.

“But I have brought him in to fight for a place at centre half and to be in that role. Because of the transfer windows next season, if we do need to shuffle things around, we have got that ability to do that.

“We’ve got people like Lee Collins who can play left, right, centre or centre of the park. Tafty can play centre half and left back, so defensively it gives us good cover.”

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GEORGE TAFT JOINS MANSFIELD TOWN
burtonalbionfc.co.uk, 26th May 2016, by Ash Willis

GEORGE Taft has joined Mansfield Town on a free transfer.

The former-Leicester City defender joined Burton Albion in May 2014 on a two-year deal which meant his contract would expire this summer.

Brewers manager Nigel Clough invited Taft to join the Brewers during pre-season in order to prove his fitness after missing most of the 2015/16 campaign through injury.

Taft made over 30 appearances for Burton and scored a memorable goal against Shrewsbury Town at the Pirelli Stadium.

Nigel Clough said: “We gave George the option to come and train with is during pre-season as he was out of contract but he had the chance to prove his fitness.

Read more at http://www.burtonalbionfc.co.uk/news/article/george-taft-joins-mansfield-town-3127279.aspx#zmTfisHIbjsYxz5L.99

“We’re pleased that George has got himself fixed up with a club so quickly and we wish him all the best.”

Taft said: “I’ve loved my time at Burton and especially being involved with back-to-back promotions.

“I need a new challenge now and I need to play games.”

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Burton Albion transfer news: George Taft leaves Brewers to sign for League Two side Mansfield Town
Burton Mail, May 26, 2016, By Ashley Wilkinson

BURTON Albion defender George Taft has joined League Two side Mansfield Town on a free transfer. Taft's contract expires this summer but having suffered an ACL injury earlier in the season, was invited by manager Nigel Clough to join the Brewers in pre-season.

But the former Leicester City defender, who joined the Brewers in May 2014 on a two-year deal, has opted to move to the League Two Stags at the end of his contract. Taft made 34 appearances for Albion and scored a memorable goal against Shrewsbury Town at the Pirelli Stadium.

Taft spent part of last season on loan at Cambridge United until the injury to his knee cut his spell at the Abbey Stadium short.

"We gave George the option to come and train with is during pre-season as he was out of contract but he had the chance to prove his fitness," said Clough. "We're pleased that George has got himself fixed up with a club so quickly and we wish him all the best."

Read more: http://www.burtonmail.co.uk/Burton-Albion-transfer-news-George-Taft-leaves/story-29324870-detail/story.html#ixzz49maztEMs

Taft insists that the opportunity for first team football is what persuaded him to join Adam Murray's side. "I've loved my time at Burton and especially being involved with back-to-back promotions," said Taft in a statement. "I need a new challenge now and I need to play games."

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Latest | May 2016