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Archived News from July 2016

JORDAN WHEATLEY SIGNS FOR NUNEATON, NOT MANSFIELD
13th July 2016 11:42


Stags' boss clarifies Wheatley departure
mansfieldtown.net, 7th July 2016

Manager Adam Murray has clarified the situation surrounding young defender Jordan Wheatley, who joined Nuneaton Town earlier this week.

The 18-year-old right-back was expected to sign for the club after he played in the Stags’ 2-0 victory over Rainworth Miners Welfare last Saturday, but joined the Warwickshire club on Monday. He had also previously been training with the squad which began pre-season at Brooksby Melton College, the week before.

And manager Murray revealed at this morning’s news conference that the defender’s mother contacted the club’s medical department on Monday morning, to tell them that Wheatley wouldn’t be reporting for pre-season training.

“I think the big thing to come out of it was that Jordan wasn’t really committed to Mansfield Town. We had communication from his mum to the physio on Monday that he wasn’t very well,” Murray said.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/2016-17/murray-clarifies-wheatley-departure-3172522.aspx#Jm83D8sd4uJr3XFJ.99

“Was he very well or wasn’t he very well? I’m not sure but then I think Nuneaton put it in the press that he signed for them so he might not have been very well in Nuneaton or something, I’m not sure.”

“It was his decision; he didn’t feel like League Two was for him. We brought him in to go into the first team squad and compete for a first team place at a professional level at League Two.

“He felt that he’d get more opportunity to play man’s football in Nuneaton’s league so [we] wish him all the best.

“If somebody’s not 100 percent committed to the four walls of Mansfield Town, then so be it. I’m not going to lose any sleep over it, we’ve got a lot of good young lads and we move on very swiftly.”

Murray’s news conference is now available to view on Stags PlayerHD.

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Stags move on after Wheatley debacle
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Thursday 07 July 2016

Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray said the club would move swiftly on after the Jordan Wheatley debacle this week when the young Ilkeston defender snubbed a deal with the Stags to join National League North Nuneaton.

The highly-rated 18-year-old played in a friendly for Mansfield last weekend, but stunned everyone with an about-turn in midweek that saw him join up with former Ilkeston boss Kevin Wilson.

Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/stags-move-on-after-wheatley-debacle-1-8002156#ixzz4DlA2cV5B

However, Murray said the Stags already had a wealth of promising youngsters and the decision was solely down to Wheatley.

“The big thing to come out of it was that Jordan wasn’t really committed to Mansfield Town,” said Murray.

“We had communication from his mum to the physio on Monday saying that he wasn’t very well.

“Was he very well or not, I am not sure? Then Nuneaton put it in the press he has signed for them so he might have not been very well in Nuneaton or something?

“It was his decision. He didn’t feel like League Two was for him.

“We brought him in to go into the first team squad and compete for a first team place at a professional level in League Two.

“He felt he’d get more opportunity to play men’s football in Nuneaton’s league, so we wish him all the best.

“If someone is not 100 per cent committed to the four walls of Mansfield Town then so be it. We won’t lose any sleep over it. “We’ve got a lot of good, young lads and we move on very swiftly.”

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BREAKING: Wheatley signs for Nuneaton despite Stags interest
chad.co.uk, Tuesday 05 July 2016

Ilkeston FC defender Jordan Wheatley has signed for National League North side Nuneaton - despite Mansfield Town appearing to believe they had recruited the player last week.

Wheatley, 18, turned down the offer of a new contract at Ilkeston and then appeared for Mansfield in their pre-season friendly at Rainworth Miners Welfare last Saturday.

Following that game, Stags boss Adam Murray was quoted as saying how pleased he was to have recruited Wheatley and that he had hopes of including him in his first team setup in the near future.

However, it has now been confirmed that Wheatley has in fact signed a deal with former Robins boss Kevin Wilson at Nuneaton Town.

Wilson said; “Jordan played for me at Ilkeston and is an intelligent footballer who knows how to read the game.

http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/breaking-wheatley-signs-for-nuneaton-despite-stags-interest-1-7998404

“He is keen to learn and take information on board so that he keeps improving. He has the desire and hunger that I expect from players and is ambitious too. I want the club to progress and I want the players to progress, and I’m sure Jordan will help us get to where we want to be.”

Wheatley added: “I am 18-years-old and all I want to do is play football this season.

“Mansfield are a great club but my game-time chances might have been limited there. I want to play and that is why I chose Nuneaton.

“They play at a good level and it is higher than where I was last year.

“I think with the coaching here I will only improve. It was an easy decision for me to make really.

“I know the manager Kevin Wilson and his assistant Steve Chettle really well.

“They were at Ilkeston a couple of years ago and I learnt a lot from them during that time. Steve was actually my teacher at school before that so I have known him for years.

“I feel comfortable coming here and trusting that I am in the best place to move my career forward.

“They showed last year with the other guys from Ilkeston what can be done. I want to have some of that and more. I want to grow as a player and also help the team push up the league this year.”

Ilkeston head coach Paul Holland said: “Realistically, we always knew that Jordan probably wouldn’t be an Ilkeston player for the coming season. We did make Jordan an offer for this season, but he never hid the fact that he’d like to play at a higher level and he’s now gone on to do that.

“Everyone at Ilkeston FC wishes Jordan all the best for his future and hopefully we can be playing against them next season.”

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Breaking News: Nuneaton Town pip Mansfield Town to defensive signing
nuneaton-news.co.uk, July 05, 2016

NUNEATON Town have sensationally pipped League Two side Mansfield Town to the signing of teenage wonder-kid Jordan Wheatley this summer.

Wheatley, who played in a Stags shirt at Rainworth Miners Welfare on Saturday, turned down the chance to join the Football League side, instead opting to sign for former Ilkeston boss Kevin Wilson at Nuneaton Town.

For Wilson the signing is a show of strength for the Boro.

He said: "He is a player that I know well and I am delighted to be able to have him with me here at Nuneaton now.

Read more: http://www.nuneaton-news.co.uk/breaking-news-nuneaton-town-pip-mansfield-town-to-defensive-signing/story-29479154-detail/story.html#ixzz4DZMFZZO0

"He has real quality and he can count himself unlucky that he is not at a Football League club already. He is that good.

"For us as a football club we are hoping to take advantage of that fact, though, and hopefully with the quality he has got he will only go from strength to strength here."

Wheatley has been linked to high profile moves in the past with the former Ilkeston man tipped to sign for Brighton and then Doncaster in the past.

For various reasons none of those moves materialised, though, but that did not stop the Football League scouts from circling the 18-year-old centre back.

In-fact one of those clubs, Mansfield Town, were close to signing the youngster this summer, with Stags boss Adam Murray calling him a real gem in the making.

It is at Liberty Way, though, and not Field Mill that Wheatley will be turning out during the 2016/17 campaign.

Wilson added: "People know what this club is about and that is why they want to be here.

"They know the philosophy here, they know what we can do. They also know we have a track record of helping players progress, players like Callum Chettle and Aaron Williams.

"It is that kind of record that makes players like Jordan want to come here. It shows that this is the right club for players to come to and hopefully that will translate to good football on the pitch alongside success."
Wheatley has signed a one-year deal with an option for a second year and has cost Nuneaton an undisclosed amount in terms of transfer fee.

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Nuneaton Town: Wheatley has his say after joining the Boro
nuneaton-news.co.uk, July 05, 2016

JORDAN Wheatley has admitted first team football was the pull that led him to join Nuneaton Town instead of Mansfield Town this summer.

The former Ilkeston youngster, who played for Mansfield at the weekend, opted out of joining the Stags this season and decided to head to Nuneaton.
It is a decision that had football - and only football - behind it.
Wheatley said: "I am 18-years-old and all I want to do is play football this season.
"Mansfield are a great club but my game-time chances might have been limited there. I want to play and that is why I chose Nuneaton.

"They play at a good level and it is higher than where I was last year.

Read more: http://www.nuneaton-news.co.uk/nuneaton-town-wheatley-has-his-say-after-joining-the-boro/story-29479604-detail/story.html#ixzz4DZMM4nuc

"I think with the coaching here I will only improve. It was an easy decision for me to make really."

Wheatley may be joining a new team, but he will certainly know a thing or two about the Boro before he lines up for them this season.

He added: "I know the manager Kevin Wilson and his assistant Steve Chettle really well.

"They were at Ilkeston a couple of years ago and I learnt a lot from them during that time. Steve was actually my teacher at school before that so I have known him for years.

"I feel comfortable coming here and trusting that I am in the best place to move my career forward.

"They showed last year with the other guys from Ilkeston what can be done. I want to have some of that and more. I want to grow as a player and also help the team push up the league this year.

"I think we could be in for a good season."

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Duffers’ Diaries: Wheatley deal can be a valuable lesson to big clubs
ilkestonadvertiser.co.uk, by Mark Duffy, Thursday 07 July 2016

It’s been an interesting few days to say the least with regard to the Jordan Wheatley transfer deal.

On Saturday, I covered Mansfield Town’s pre-season friendly at Rainworth Miners Welfare for the Mansfield Chad, a game I was delighted to do having been starved of football for a while!

Read more: http://www.ilkestonadvertiser.co.uk/sport/local-sport/duffers-diaries-wheatley-deal-can-be-a-valuable-lesson-to-big-clubs-1-8002785#ixzz4ECDiXA8a

Anyway, I’d heard a few rumours that Wheatley was with Mansfield in one capacity or another and when his name appeared on the team sheet as someone the Stags would be giving match time to in the second-half, it seemed he may well have signed.

Nothing official had been announced at that point, but the Stags’ media team seemed pretty certain it was a done deal as well as - and this is what led me to put a story out on it - Mansfield boss Adam Murray.

He was happy to talk to me separately about Wheatley after the game, on the record, and was chuffed at having snapped up such a sought after player. Any Robins fans will know why he was pleased given the promise Wheatley has.

I had no reason to believe they hadn’t secured a deal so the story went out on Saturday evening.

My only concern was that Ilkeston had been quiet on the whole thing and although we were within our rights to go live with the story given what we’d been told by Mansfield, I obviously have a good relationship with the folks at the NMG and they’re usually pretty quick to tip me off when a big move is imminent.

The fact they hadn’t done so meant a few question marks were floating around my head, and sure enough, on Tuesday afternoon it became apparent why.

Nuneaton Town had done a deal to sign Wheatley. That had me firing e-mails over to my colleague in Mansfield to see if he could find out what the Stags thought about that, and as I go to press tonight I still don’t know how miffed Murray might be that a great prospect has slipped through his grasp.

Fair play to Nuneaton, they sensed that this was their chance to pounce and the player has also got his own reasons for going there which are perfectly valid, particularly given he’s so young and has plenty of time on his side when it comes to getting a move into the Football League in the future.

Kevin Wilson obviously knows Wheatley well, as does Steve Chettle, and the player’s comfort at working with the duo will have played a defining part in him wanting to go to Nuneaton, as was the case with so many Ilkeston players before him.

I’ve done a fair bit of reading between the lines on it all and my educated guess would be that Mansfield might well have been put off by having to pay what would have been a sizeable compensation payment for Wheatley.

Whether it was foolish of them to go on record talking about a player who evidently hadn’t yet put pen to paper is open to debate, but if they did so whilst not being aware quite what the terms of any deal would be then there’s certainly some questions to be answered there.

People I’ve spoken to in the game tell me that Football League clubs are quite often unwilling to part with cash for players they might perceive as being untried or shots in the dark, perhaps just assuming that their stature will be enough to persuade said player to sign up regardless.

But the reality is that if you have a talent that is worth something, be that now or in the future or even both, then you deserve to be paid for it. It’s the main reason the rule for under-24s commanding compensation fees even if they’re out of contract was devised in the first place.

Whether Mansfield were simply unwilling to do that or changed their mind on the player is unclear, but the evidence probably suggests the former.

Wheatley himself may not have been comfortable at Mansfield and maybe that too was part of his decision. Just because he’s at a professional club doesn’t mean the environment will automatically be to his liking, regardless of what cash he may earn or what level of football he might play.

At Nuneaton, I’d expect Wheatley will play plenty of first team football and another year of that could well prime him for a big move in the not too distant future, or indeed help Nuneaton to promotion and therefore give him the chance to go higher again in the National League.

Either way, despite Adam Murray saying he thought Wheatley would form part of his first team plans in the not too distant future, I’m pretty sure Wheatley would have been playing U21 or reserve football at best for a while and that may not have been the best option for him.

It has to be a lesson for professional clubs though. With the rise to stardom of players like Jamie Vardy and with some of the astronomical costs attached to buying often quite average players from this country or abroad, more and more clubs are looking to non-league for the next bargain that might in turn reward them on the pitch and then financially should the player move on for a big fee.

Ilkeston are always keen to insert sizeable sell-on clauses into these deals and one must assume that was done with Wheatley too.

Granted, a windfall from such clauses is far from guaranteed and might take a few years to materialise, but in the absence of any club being willing to pay a big fee for a rough diamond initially (and understandably so) it’s perhaps the best way to get a decent payment should things continue to go well for the player involved.

Anyway, best of luck to Jordan Wheatley who I believe has a great future in the game and Wilson and Steve Chettle will be the ideal people to help guide him for the forseeable future.

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EARLIER STORY
Mansfield Town sign Jordan Wheatley from Ilkeston FC
chad.co.uk, by Mark Duffy, Saturday 02 July 2016

Adam Murray believes Mansfield Town have unearthed a real gem in new recruit Jordan Wheatley after the teenager signed from Ilkeston FC this week.

Wheatley, 17, has come through the highly-acclaimed academy at Ilkeston and was a key part of not only the first team squad last season but also the team that reached the third round proper of the FA Youth Cup where they were narrowly beaten by Newcastle United.

And having given Wheatley his first run-out in a Stags shirt at Rainworth Miners Welfare on Saturday, manager Murray is keen to see the versatile youngster develop into a first team player.

He said: “He’s a real talent who we’ve had our eye on for a while. We’ve done really well to get him because he came very close to joining a Championship club last year and there have been others really keen on him, so I’m delighted.

Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/mansfield-town-sign-jordan-wheatley-from-ilkeston-fc-1-7994267#ixzz4DHRsOCKq

“He’s a natural on the ball and at the moment I think he’s better suited to a full-back role as he’s not quite built up enough in my eyes to be a centre-half at this level, but we’ll work with him to develop his game and I intend to have him working with the first team as much as possible straight away and he could also feature in some reserve games.”

No details have been released regarding any fee paid for Wheatley, but although he turned down a new offer to stay at Ilkeston it is understood the Robins will be due compensation due to the player’s age.

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