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Archived News from September 2005

4th September 2005 16:52

Football Post article:
transcribed by carole

Tough luck as rover's return greeted with a broken leg.

IAN WILKERSON talks to the recovering Chris Beardsley as the young Stags striker nurses his broken leg:

CHRIS Beardsley is determined to be philosophical – though it was not the start he wanted to his reborn Mansfield Town career.

The 21-year-old striker is determined to battle back as quickly as possible from the broken leg he suffered in Monday's 3-2 defeat against Notts County. For an injury that a generation or two ago would have caused concerns about careers being threatened, he has earmarked a swift return. A trip to the specialist in Sheffield should set him on the way to a recovery he hopes will not extend long after Christmas. In the meantime, he has plenty of time at his Derby home to think about his clash with former team-mate Kevin Pilkington in the Derby match.

“It is a clean break of the tibia and it should not be too complicated,” he said. “But I am going to see the specialist on Tuesday and he will decide whether it is worth operating or not. If I do go under the knife, the healing process will be quicker because there will be less chance of it moving. I'm in plaster then up to the top of my thigh so I'm laid up at the minute. The ball was put down the side and I set off after it thinking I could get there. I saw Pilks coming out and all I was thinking about was not getting booked. I then saw that he was sliding towards the ball. I went with my right leg, didn't get there and hit my left. I tried to get up but I couldn't put any weight on it so I had to go straight back down again. But I was grateful for the way the crowd reacted, it was really nice of them.”

He made a quick exit to King's Mill Hospital and went straight to the X-ray room, where the damage was diagnosed. Leg fractures are notoriously painful, though Chris seems to have been lucky.

“I have not had that much pain with it and people at the hospital said usually they have had people hanging from the ceiling with them. But I didn't have that many painkillers, probably because I hadn't eaten much and might not have been able to keep them down.”

Although the challenge provoked an angry reaction from Pilkington, Beardsley maintained he went into it determined to get the ball and nothing else.

He spent two nights in hospital before being discharged.

“I have seen the video and it looks like a 50-50. The gaffer rang me while I was in hospital and he was saying it was just one of those things,” he said. “I was in plaster by about 5.30pm and had had my second X-ray. I had to have half a cast on for the first night and I can now get about a bit on my crutches. The gaffer said I had done really well to get myself in the side and all that was lacking was a goal from the two-and-a-half games I played. It looks like it will be after Christmas now but it should heal stronger.”
Beardsley was starting only his second game after returning to Field Mill over the summer.

After leaving the Stags, following the play-off defeat against Huddersfield, his time away took him to Doncaster and Kidderminster, where he worked under former Mansfield boss Stuart Watkiss. Now he is back among former colleagues Jake Buxton, Alex John-Baptiste and Callum Lloyd.

“I had a season away but it seemed like about three years,” he said. “It is good to be back with a lot of the lads I know from my time in the youth team. Jason White was in my year and I played with the likes of Bucko, Baps and Callum.”

Even though older heads like John Olav Hjelde, Kevin Pressman and Gus Uhlenbeek have been brought in by manager Carlton Palmer, he said the squad needs to gain more experience to finish off teams in League Two.

“I think we have got a good young squad that just needs a bit of time to mature,” he said. “The gaffer said that if we hadn't been conceding goals from set pieces, we would be fourth now. From what I can see, we can score goals from all over the pitch and there are plenty of opportunities being created as well. Gus played at a high level and there are others as well, but when you go to training it is a squad of young lads with four or five older heads. When you are a younger player, all you want to do is go out and play football and you have to be a bit cuter than that sometimes.”

He believes the move to Belle Vue and Aggborough have given him plenty of confidence and helped him see the other sides of what it is like to be a professional footballer.

“When you are at Mansfield, you are a little bit in a goldfish bowl because it is the sort of club where everybody knows everybody. When I went to Doncaster, you didn't train at the ground and the training facilities were excellent. There was also the chance with Dave Penney to work on things after training. What I got there was regular reserve football and that helped me. I got on a run and scored eight goals in eight games and that helped me enormously.”

He joined up with Watkiss in December and made 15 of his 21 league starts as he tried, eventually in vain, to keep Harriers in the Coca-Cola League.

“It was different at Kidderminster because I was in the first team,” he said. “One of the big attractions in going there was that every game would mean something and we gave it a really good go and at one time I really thought we had turned the corner. A few players have left but I still think they have got a really good chance of at least getting in the play-offs this season. If they can get Iyseden Christie fit, then they have a real chance. Going away did me the world of good and I have worked hard at my game. It is just a shame it has come to a bit of a full stop.”


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