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Archived News from June 2005

29th June 2005 23:01

Evening Post, 29 June 2005
Stags boss Carlton Palmer has brought in three more new faces - with another three to come.

Former Leicester City Irish U21 midfielder Stephen Dawson has signed for two years, while ex-Blackburn Rovers Irish U19 full-back Gavin Peers has signed a one-year deal.

Matthew Tipton was arriving for a medical today before signing a two-year contract.

And Palmer is hoping to bring in a striker and goalkeeper later this week, while talks continue with a centre half.

"Coming to Mansfield was a good opportunity for me to get into first team football and hopefully build my career up," said Peers.

"When Carlton called he offered me the chance to achieve my goals so I took it with both hands."

Dawson, who turned down a renewed offer from Leicester, said: "It looks like an ambitious club that wants to make an honest push for promotion.

"I have played for Ireland at all levels and was on the bench against France in the under-21s so I am waiting to get into the starting 11 for the under-21s.

"I am hoping that if I can impress the manager here and get into the starting side this will help me break into the under-21 squad.

"Promotion is on the cards this year for Mansfield. I was speaking to the manager and he is very confident.

"We are looking to go straight up, but even a play-off place would be good."
Palmer revolotion well underway
CHAD, 28 June 2005
THE Carlton Palmer revolution was well and truly underway at Field Mill this week as Stags' player-manager today brought in three more new faces with another three to come.
Long-suffering Stags fans complaining over the lack of transfer activity have been knocked for six this week as faces came and went at a breakneck speed.
New faces introduced to the press yesterday were former Leicester City Irish U21 midfielder Stephen Dawson, who has signed for two years, and former Blackburn Rovers Irish U19 full back Gavin Peers, who has signed a one-year deal.
Also there was former Forest and Sheffield Wednesday star Des Walker, with 59 England caps under his belt, who is hoping to end his career with a season at Field Mill if he can prove his fitness.
Macclesfield goal ace Matthew Tipton, another great coup for the club, is due in for a medical this morning (Wednesday) before signing a two-year contract.
That's not all - a striker and goalkeeper should arrive later in the week and talks continue with a centre half.
These follow the arrivals of Adam Birchall, Gus Ulhenbeek and Jason Talbot last week. And don't forget manager Carlton Palmer also intends to play this season while Peter Shirtliff this week took up his appointment as first team coach.
Of all the new faces at Field Mill this week, one raised the biggest reaction.
The news that flamboyant former England star defender Des Walker may grace Field Mill with his playing swansong this season was music to Mansfield ears.
Former Forest, Sheffield Wednesday and Sampdoria star Walker (39) won 59 England caps and doesn't want his distinguished playing career to prematurely end the way it seemed to have done with a brief foray into coaching at Forest.
And, if he can prove his fitness to Carlton Palmer - and, more importantly, to himself, he will be a crucial part of this exciting new squad.
"I played with Des in John Sheridan's testimonial the other week and Des looked the fittest player on the pitch," said Palmer.
"The only thing you can lose at this age is the desire to do the hard work.
"But Des is a very strong-minded person and he will do the pre-season training, play some part of the pre-season games and we will take it from there.
"I learned a lot from him - he is a great defender - and his presence will benefit players like Alex John-Baptiste and Rhys Day.
"Des is a wealthy man with his own business. But, when I saw him play in that testimonial, I rang him and asked him what he was planning to do this season.
"I reminded him we were only up the road and said - how about it?
"He has had a great career and won't let himself down. If he doesn't feel he can do it he will leave it at that.
"He and I will make a decision closer to the start of the season."
Walker added: "I have the greatest respect for Carlton.
"He always gives 100 per cent and is a very honest player which is all I ask of myself and why we get along.
"My career unfortunately seemed to end a couple of years earlier than I would have liked when I started coaching at Forest.
"But you are a long time retired and I think if you can play you should play.
"I have retained a natural fitness, like Carlton, which I think is in your genes, but now I need to work as hard as anyone to get back to full fitness.
"I have never been on a football field when I haven't felt I could contribute to the team.
"Being part of a team is an honour - that's the great part about team games.
"And nothing can beat the buzz of winning a match. It is a very sweet feeling and there is no bigger high in life than winning promotion and medals.
"Carlton is bringing in a lot of talented young players here. In this day and age you need the majority of your squad to be young as you are trying to build something and instill your ways and beliefs in them.
"But you need a bit of experience alongside them to get them through as well, particularly on days when the crowd is getting restless."
Stags have pulled off a real signing coup with the capture of Macclesfield Town club captain Matthew Tipton.
The 5ft 10ins striker, who is 25 today (Wednesday), is due in for a medical this morning before signing on the dotted line.
The all-time leading goalscorer at Moss Rose, Tipton netted 14 times last season and said he was initially offered a new contract.
But he claimed that offer was withdrawn after Macclesfield's play-off failure, and Stags had to beat off competition from Bury and Darlington for his signature.
Tipton was a product of Oldham Athletic's youth system and after almost 130 games for the Latics, plus appearances for the Welsh U21s, the Bangor-born striker moved on to Macclesfield.
There he was joint top scorer in 2002/03 with 14 and top scorer in 2003/04 with 19 (including a club record 17 League goals).
"We are delighted to get Matthew," said Palmer.
"The lad is very ambitious and there were clubs higher up interested in him.
"But he liked what we told him about our own ambitions.
"By and large you get what you deserve in life. And if we work hard we will be there or thereabouts and Matthew will get himself noticed."
Another coup for Mansfield was bringing in highly promising midfielder Stephen Dawson from Leicester City
Manchester City had already cast a watchful eye over 19-year-old Dawson - a current Irish U21 international, having represented his country at U17, U18, U19 levels as well.
His departure was something of a surpise to Leicester fans, having been seen as one for the future.
But following four years at Leicester after they plucked him from Portmarnock as a youngster, the 5ft 6ins midfielder has decided to move on.
"There was a lot of competition for Stephen," said Palmer.
"First he was going to Luton, then Yeovil came in. But Stephen worked under Peter Shirtliff at Leicester and his influence proved crucial.
"The kid just wants to play and he is more than good enough.
"He is ready for first team football and really buzzing.
"He is a very good player who gets up and down the pitch well."
Fellow Dubliner Gavin Peers, a neigbour of Dawson, was recommended to the club by Birmingham boss Steve Bruce.
Right back Peers (also 19) was told he was being released by Blackburn last season and went out on trials at Blackpool, Bradford City and Rotherham United.
He then looked set to move to Northmapton until Palmer stepped in.
Once Tipton is on board, Palmer's jigsaw puzzle will be completed by a goalkeeper, another striker and a centre half.
"We are almost there with a keeper," he said. "I am waiting on a Premiership manager to come back off holiday.
"Then, provided the lad wants to come, we will have him on loan for the season.
"He is a young lad who is currently third choice, but he was out on loan at a Championship club last season.
"The only stipulation is that we play him. The Championship club would have him but can't guarantee he will start.
"I am also waiting on an answer from an experienced central defender.
"He is still under contract for another season but wants to come.
"We have made him our best offer and now it is just down to him to see if he can strike a deal with the club concerned."

More incoming at the Mill
Carlton Palmer's bid to build his new squad picked up momentum today with the signings of Gavin Peers and Stephen Dawson. The youngsters both Dublin born arrive at Filed mill bringing with them a good Pedigree gleaned from plying their trade in the dizzy heights of the Premiership.

Peers from Blackburn Rovers and Dawson from Leicester City. Joining them was veteran centre half Des Walker who after a time away from football wishes to return to the game that has been so good to him over the years.

Gavin Peers has played in the European Championships for Republic of Ireland Under so brings a lot of experience for a young player still only nineteen year old.

After leaving his club (Blackburn Rovers) he has tried out for a number of clubs in the championship but he says that it never quite worked out for him so when Carlton offered him a way forward and a one year deal with options he grasped it with both hands.

"Coming to Mansfield was a good opportunity for me to get into first team football and hopefully build my career up and make a name for myself. When Carlton called he offered me the chance to achieve my goals so I took with both hands." Said Peers

The confident midfielder says that Promotion is a real possibility for the Stags this season and he is looking forward to being a part of it.

"Promotion is definitely on the cards for Mansfield this season and I can't wait for the season to get started and be a part of it and get that important league experience and build myself back up." He added.

The other youngster joining the stags today on a two year deal, Stephen Dawson from Leicester City has an equally impressive resume. Turning down a renewed offer from Leicester says that a chat with Carlton Palmer and one look at what was on offer at Field Mill was enough to lure the young Irishman away from the championship outfit.

"Carlton Palmer rang me up saying that he would like to speak to me about coming to Mansfield and I know Peter Shirtliffe from when he was the reserve team coach at Leicester City. So I came down and had a talk with them and a look around the ground and I just said that I want to sign straight away. It looks like an ambitious club that wants to make an honest push for promotion.

Like his new team mate he has represented his country at every level upto and including under 2.

"I have played for Ireland at all levels and was on the bench against France in the under 21s so I am waiting to get into the starting eleven for the under 21s. and I am hoping that if I can impress the manager here and get into the starting side this will help me break into the Under 21 squad."

The modest midfielder has no misconceptions about his role at Field Mill and understands that there is a lot of hard work to be done but believes that he can help the Stags earn promotion this season and he cannot wait to get started.

"I am looking forward to playing in front of all the Mansfield Fans. I have heard that they can be very passionate about the football and some crowds in this stadium should create a great atmosphere. I know that there is still a lot of hard work to be done but as I said if I can impress the manager enough to get me in the starting eleven an I believe that we can do well this year." He told the official website this morning.

" Promotion is on the cards this year for Mansfield. I was speaking to the Manager and he is very confident and with the players that are coming in we are looking to go straight up but even a play off place would be good" he added

Joining The two Dubliners this morning was ex Nottingham Forest and England international Des Walker making his return to football rolling into Field Mill on Classic Motorbike. The Veteran Centre half said that he is looking to the challenge:

"I was out of football for just over a year when I tried my hand coaching but it was always my intention and belief that I could go on playing until 40ish but because I started coaching I stopped playing and when the coaching didn't work out I thought to myself that I still have a lot to offer.

"I am just concentrating on getting myself fit at the moment. I am always honest with myself so I will know at the end of four or five weeks if I can play a full season or not. But, I can't see any reasons why I shouldn't be able to" Walker told the official website this morning.

When the Stags Boss made the call to his old team mate Walker a first thought that he was having his leg pulled but after some re-assurance from Palmer the deal was set.

"I played in a testimonial recently with Carlton and he obviously thought Des is still fit, but a testimonial is a little bit different from league football. But I thought he was joking when he asked if I wanted to come to Mansfield.

"I have been asked quite a lot from other places if wanted to play or not but it is all about the motivation to get fit. So when you have a serious offer like this one you have that motivation to get yourself fit and I am looking forward to the challenge. I stared back yesterday with alight run but today's grueller a 3000 metre run should be good test.

"I have got a lot of hard work to put in over the next four or five weeks to build muscle strength etc. I don't think anybody likes Pre-season but it is important and you can't get away from it. But, if you put in the hard work you get the rewards afterwards." He added.

Meanwhile Striker Matthew Tipton was unable to attend this morning's press Call but, having already put pen to paper, will be attending the mill on Wednesday for his first day of training for Mansfield Town FC

Uhlenbeek on: Why Mansfield
Gus Uhlenbeek who signed last week for the Stags was today in training with his new team mates and cannot wait to get playing football.

"I got a phone call from the manager asking if I wanted to come down to Field Mill and obviously I was at Wycombe last season. They offered me a deal but I told them that I wanted to go to Mansfield and try something else." Said the right full back.

It was not only his desire to try a different club but geography played some part in his decision to make the move to the Stags:

"It is close to home for me and I remember playing here last season on the snowy pitch when I managed to score a goal and I thought that Mansfield were a decent side and a couple of years ago they were in the play offs so I thought that is a club moving in the right direction.

"Also the fact that Carlton Palmer is the manager here swayed my judgement, he is a football man himself and a young, up and coming manager with a passion for the game and a desire to win. I can't wait to get started" He added.

Will the thirty five year old finish his career at Field Mill?

"I don't know!" he said "just look at Des Walker and Carlton Palmer if they are still playing I still have a couple of years in me - we will just have to wait and see" he joked.


Chairman Keith Haslam
As the Staff of Mansfield Town FC arrived at work to hear news of who they had drawn in the first round of the Carling Cup Chairman Keith Haslam was delighted with the draw (Stoke City (H) Tue 23rd Aug KickOff-7.45pm)

"It is always nice to get the home draw in a cup competition. It is a little bit different this season with the match being played five games into August instead of the normal two. So, it gives us a little time to find our feet and should be an exciting game. Stoke should be bringing a good crowd.

"typically higher division clubs travel to league two clubs with some trepidation in these competitions so it is probably a more attractive draw for them than us really.

"Everybody's beatable in these competitions but Stoke had a good season last year and will be a strong side without any doubt but it will be an exciting game and something to look forward to for the lads and the supporters and something to build towards." He said.

Talking about the way the new squad is shaping up Haslam is equally as enthusiastic about the future of Mansfield Town FC:

"I believe the secret to success at this level is to get the correct blend. We are getting youngsters coming through that already are showing quality as a footballer. All of them have already been offered contracts from their clubs but they wanted to give it a chance in 'the big world' and play competitive footballer rather than take the money and stay in a reserve squad.

"They know that they have to play competitive football and they have chosen to that at Mansfield Town. They have seen that Carlton is ambitious and the club share the same ambitions and they want to be apart of that. We already have some experience in the club so hopefully we have achieved that blend" he added.

In conclusion Mansfield Town Chairman added:

"With the current blend of players that we are getting in the club at the moment I would to think that a top three finish and promotion are a real possibility, we don't really want the play offs again - it has taken us time to get over the last time. With the quality of player brought in like Matthew Tipton it is a real possibility.

"Matthew had a lot of clubs chasing him such as Bury, Darlington, Swansea and a few more and he chose us and they all want the same thing - they all want to achieve success. He is a respected player who was captain at Macclesfield last year and at just 24 is a good signing for us."

Stephen Dawson
Date of birth 04-12-1985
Position Midfielder
Nationality Ireland
Currently playing for Leicester
Signed on 01-07-2004
Fee Trainee


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