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Archived News from August 2008

16th August 2008 16:59

6 Aug 08
Squad numbers allocated.
Read at mansfieldtown.net here


Experienced Stags want to 'hit the ground running'
Moses and Stallard look ahead to first match of the season

CHAD.co.uk, 6 Aug 08

NEW Stags players Adie Moses and Mark Stallard can't wait for the new season to begin in earnest, even though Conference football will be a new experience for them.

Read more at CHAD.co.uk here

The duo are the most experienced of McEwan's 11 new recruits so far, since the wily Scot took the manager's reins when Mansfield Town was sold to a trio of local businessmen in the summer.

Former Barnsley defender Moses, released by Lincoln in the summer said: "It's been an enjoyable pre-season despite all the early problems and it's great to be getting under way properly on Saturday.

"Of course it has been difficult for us because we've had to play catch-up with Billy coming in late, and we've been a few weeks behind everyone else.

"But that's what happens when you have a take over, hardly any players signed on and trial players in – we've really been up against it, but thankfully we've done OK pre-season and managed to gel together a little in games and in training.

"A few more weeks of preparation would have been ideal in the circumstances but there's nothing we can do about that. The situation is that the first game has come round very quickly for us but we've just got to get on with it.

"We're all confident and hopeful that we're going to do well, but I don't think anyone can really say how much the time we are behind everyone else is going to affect things early on.

"After last week's result everyone thought we're not quite where we would like to be, but we've worked hard again this week and we're looking forward to getting going properly."

Moses has played throughout the football spectrum in the League, but Conference football will be a new experience for him.

"I've not played at this level before," he admitted, "and we're going to go to grounds where we've never been. It's still a decent level of football with a lot of good clubs in there and no-one thinks it's going to be easy.

"Mansfield will be seen as a scalp by a lot of teams, especially coming here to a nice set-up, so we all know it will be a tough season.

"But we've got some good players down here and hopefully we can do well. I'm looking forward to it.

"There's always a new optimism around a club when a new regime takes over, and the fans will be looking to see how everyone fares. I have sensed that the fans have been good with us during the pre-season games and those I have spoken to have all been very positive.

"I think they will get behind us. They know how tough it's been with so much that has changed at the club, and we'll be doing our best for them.

"Our home form is going to be an important part of our season. I know Billy has had good away records in the past, but if we can get the fans behind us at home and make it a difficult place for teams to come we'll do well.

"After Ebbsfleet on Saturday we've got a couple of home games against Histon and Kidderminster, hopefully to do well and then kick on from there."

Stallard, the vastly experienced ex-Notts County striker, added: "I've never known it before where you come into a club which has so few contracted players. Clubs have clearouts at the end of the season but this has been one to end all clearouts.

"A new regime, a new take over, a new manager, left things up in the air until the second or third week of pre-season so it's been difficult. We've had to knuckle down and it has tested the lads' professionalism.

"But I know the manager, I've worked with him before and I know how professional he is in his approach to everything he does.

"He'll be working as well as he can within the budgets and constraints that he has to get a decent team together and to get things run professionally off the pitch too. He won't settle for it being a Mickey Mouse club and he won't put up with players who will accept that sort of thing either.

"So although we have been behind everyone else in our preparations we're going into the new season believing that all that is in the past. We've now got to go on and do our job on the pitch. The players know it has been difficult but if as a result of that we can work together and create a siege mentality that has got to be good.

"We've got to make sure we hit the ground running on Saturday and in our first two home games. If we can get off to a good start then who knows where we can go?"


Mcewan eyes Ebbsfleet united opener
Evening Post, 08Aug08

The modest four-figure crowd that will turn up at Stonebridge Road tomorrow is far from the limit of interest in Mansfield's first Blue Square Premier League game at Ebbsfleet United.

Read more at Evening Post website here

The Kent club is owned and run by a about 35,000 members and the more likely number willing a Fleet win will be closer to a capacity crowd at a Premiership match at Goodison or Villa Park.

Myfootballclub.co.uk was first launched in April last year, with members paying £35 each to enjoy the privilege of part-owning a professional team.

It was the first time such an idea had been tried and has been so successful that contributions have poured in from across the globe, including as far away as Australia and Canada.

The scheme has raised more than £500,000 for Ebbsfleet and helped enormously in making them a force to be reckoned with.

But behind the publicity generated by such a unique project, there has still been the need to put together a capable team - and motivate them.

That task has fallen to former Cambridge United and Birmingham City central defender Liam Daish.

And, according to the man trying to get the better of him on the opening day, Stags boss Billy McEwan, he has done an excellent job in unusual circumstances.

"The website thing will not affect Liam," he said. "They may have 35,000 supporters, or shareholders, on-line but there is only one man who looks after the day-to-day running and that is the manager. The shareholders might get a newsletter, but that's about it. It is Liam who picks the team.

"Ebbsfleet know what this league is all about and we know it is going to be tough down there, but we are looking forward to it.

"You don't win the FA Trophy if you don't have something about you and I know Liam will make sure they are strong and well organised.

"Some of our players have a good pedigree in the League, but now they have to earn their stripes in the Conference.

"You can't say 'I was a League player'. Reputations mean nothing."

Although some of the triallists bidding to win a Stags contract were due to play in the friendly at Matlock last night, first team players already signed up were understandably rested to avoid picking up injuries.

McEwan is hoping the experience of Mark Stallard, Adie Moses, Jason Lee and Alex Jeanin, who signed on Wednesday night, can help the Stags get off to a flyer.

And he insists he will be working on his own team's strengths, rather than worrying about the threat Ebbsfleet may pose.

McEwan said: "We will respect them but the most important thing is our team and if we get playing the way I want us then we won't have any problems."

The problems and frustrations, McEwan hopes, will all be on-line.


Field Mill ace Stallard can handle pressure
Evening Post, 08Aug08
Mark Stallard insists he can handle the pressure of being singled out as the man most likely to be Mansfield's chief goal-getter this season.

Read more at Evening Post website here

With a proven scoring records in the Football League, the striker knows the pressure will be on for him to top the scoring charts at Field Mill.

It is a burden that has followed the 33-year-old former Notts County man at almost every club he has played.

But Stallard is experienced enough to not let it worry him.

"Scoring goals is why strikers cost millions of pounds in the Premier League and part of that is having a weight of expectation on you.

"They are the first to get criticised if they are not scoring and the first to get adulation when things are going well.

"But what I try to do, and tell the younger lads to do, is to try to keep on a level. I have gone weeks without scoring, but if you believe in your ability it will come round if you keep doing the right things."

Stallard admits he was pleased to get off the mark in pre-season friendlies, scoring against old club Derby County and Sheffield United.

But he knows that will count for nothing when the real action starts tomorrow.

The ex-Notts County man said: "Two or three games into the season, what happened before it will soon be forgotten. It's what happens against Ebbsfleet and after that matters."


Stags go into the unknown!
Adventure starts at Ebbsfleet
CHAD.co.uk, 6 Aug 08, by John Lomas

SATURDAY'S Blue Square Premier opener at Ebbsfleet is a big step into the non-League unknown for Mansfield Town Football Club and their supporters – but not for new Stags boss Billy McEwan.

Read more at CHAD.co.uk here

The relegated Stags begin their bid to regain their Football League status with a tough trip to FA Trophy-winning Ebbsfleet, who are partly funded by 35,000 cyber supporters who follow the club and help run it via the Internet.

Many Mansfield fans will probably not even know where the club is situated and even less about their manager and players.

But they are no strangers to McEwan, who said: "It does help that I know what it's all about and I know it is going to be a tough campaign for more than one reason.

"But I am looking forward to it. It would have been nice to get in here earlier and I am having to scrape up a squad of players bit by bit.

"It won't follow that the players I use on Saturday will be the ones I use all season. If they are not up to it then others will come in. Players will be coming in and out all season. I had 100 players go in and out during my time at York as you look for the right formula.

"It is up to those in the club at the moment. We certainly need to get the left side sorted out – it was non-existent at Boston on Saturday.

"Before I joined Mansfield I had about 100 players' names written down in the event of me getting back into the game."

Ebbsfleet are expected to be among the BSP front-runners and combine some neat football with a physical presence. "They do a bit of both," said McEwan. "They are a good side – you don't win the FA Trophy if you are no good.

"Liam Daish will have them strong, fit and ell organised. It will be a tough baptism for the club and the players.

"It is a tough away fixture – but all of the games in this division are going to be tough. Ebbsfleet had a good season last year and I have had some good battles with them over the last few years at York.

"Obviously having 35,000 internet supporters gives them a bit of money coming in and will help with recruitment and different things."

McEwan would not pick out any of the Ebbsfleet side as particular dangers, adding: "Opposition teams do not frighten me – it's my own players who do.

"I never worry too much about the opposition. We respect them and I have a pretty good idea how they will shape up – or I like to think I do as teams sometimes change things around.

"I know they have got players in. Some of my players know a bit about them. But the most important thing for me if getting my team to play how I want them to – then we won't have any problems.

Adie Moses was skipper of a patchwork Stags side in Saturday's 3-0 defeat at Boston United and McEwan said: "I am still thinking about who will be captain for the season. To be honest I expect 11 captains out there.


A new era off the pitch for the Stags
CHAD.co.uk, 7 Aug 08

MANSFIELD Town's new inclusive era under fresh ownership has received a double boost ahead of their first ever season in the Blue Square Premier.
SAG chairman Sue Storey said: "We are encouraged by the positive attitude to safety ...
The players will be staying overnight ahead of Saturday's opening match of the season at Ebbsfleet...

Read more at CHAD.co.uk here

Former owner Keith Haslam's attitude towards safety work had often frustrated authorities - while many fans had been boycotting over his stewardship of the club.

That was highlighted when Chad reported on one avid fan who would not visit Field Mill last season, despite travelling from Australia.

However, all that has now changed as new owners Andy Perry, Andy Saunders and Steve Middleton prepare for the big kick-off . . .

Together with fans snapping up season tickets and helping to clean the stadium, and sponsors returning to the club, the Aussie-based supporter Peter Passant has ended his personal boycott - while safety officials have welcomed the new owners' 'positive attitude to safety'.

Peter will be back in England at the beginning of October and has pledged to attend the Woking game and 'will buy a programme, use the X-Bar and buy any raffle tickets that are on sale'.

Former Mansfield man Peter regularly travels to England from his home Down Under at least twice a year to see the Stags in action - but in February said he would no longer go to matches while Keith Haslam was in charge.

Meanwhile, Nottinghamshire County Council's Safety Advisory Group (SAG) - which has imposed various capacity restrictions over recent years - also notices a change in attitude at the club.

The current capacity level at the Mill is 7,416 fans (80%), including an away allocation of 1,527.

SAG chairman Sue Storey said: "We are encouraged by the positive attitude to safety that the new owners of Mansfield Town have shown. They are working hard to progress the issues of concern we highlighted to the previous management, such as stewarding and the need for a more proactive approach to safety by senior managers.

"We were encouraged by what we saw at a recent pre-season friendly match and we will continue to work with the club to help and support them in developing a safety culture at the ground."

More evidence of the new era at the Stags is the announcement that the players will be staying overnight ahead of Saturday's opening match of the season at Ebbsfleet.

Chairman Andy Perry told the club's official website mansfieldtown.net: "We felt that to continue our professional approach, giving the players the best possible preparation, we suggested that this first away game should also be an overnight stay."



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