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Archived News from March 2009

30th March 2009 0:12

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The view from the commentary box:


Stags boss facing contracts test
Evening Post, March 27, 2009

THE season may be realistically over for Mansfield Town in terms of their play-off hopes – but try telling David Holdsworth and his team the last few weeks of the season are meaningless.
At the moment, the list of players under contract is vastly outnumbered by those whose deals expire in the summer.
That fact alone, regardless of their boss's undeniable hunger for victories and demand for high standards, means most of the squad are still under pressure to perform.
Alan Marriott, Louis Briscoe and Scott Garner may have signed deals to keep them at Field Mill for the next two seasons after this.
And there is a further set of players who have agreed terms until the end of next season, namely Jonathan D'Laryea, Scott Gardner, Ryan Williams, Anthony Howell and Curtis Shaw.
%3Cbody%3E%3Cdiv%20id%3D%22adDiv%22%3E%3CA%20HREF%3D%22http%3A//ads.anm.co.uk/ADCLICK/CID%3Dfffffffcfffffffcfffffffc/AAMSZ%3D452x118/POS%3D/SITE%3DTHISISNOTT/AREA%3DFOOTBALL/SUBAREA%3D/ARTICLE%3D848268/acc_random%3D2560413121/pageid%3D/RS%3D10340.10281.10307.10319.10428.10429.10464.10486.10508.%22%20target%3D%22_new%22%3E%3CIMG%20SRC%3D%22http%3A//iad.anm.co.uk/anmdefaultad.gif%22%20ALT%3D%22%22%20border%3D0%20style%3D%22margin-bottom%3A%200px%3B%22%3E%3C/A%3E%3C/div%3EBut the rest fall into two categories – those whose deals run out in May and those whose contracts end in June.
The discrepancy stems from the fact that some have signed year-long deals to join from league clubs, which expire a month after non-league ones.
Contracts up in May are those with Michael Blackwood, Rob Duffy, Luke Herriott, Alex Jeannin, Neil MacKenzie, Aaron O'Connor, Alan O'Hare, Gary Silk, Curtis Woodhouse, Gianluca Havern and Matt Somner.
In June, contracts run out with Ryan Goward, Lewis Trimmer, Adie Moses, Mark Stallard, Nathan Arnold, Chris Wood, Warren Burrell, Jamie McGhee and Jason White. It is imposs- ible to know at this stage who Holdsworth will want to retain and who release.
But with the likelihood of more players arriving in the summer, despite a plan to trim his squad to an ideal of 23, departures are inevitable.
Already, in fact, some have been told they are surplus to requirements.
Young players Wood, Burrell and McGhee have been told their deals will not be renewed, while senior players Jeannin and O'Hare have been put on the transfer list and will not be here come pre-season either. The fact that Blackwood (Tamworth), Trimmer and Goward (both Glapwell) are out on loan suggests they will be plying their trade elsewhere too.
That leaves a further 12 players whose futures remain up in the air. Of those, some are likely to stay, some likely to go and others are maybes.
Those likely to be on Holdsworth's wish list are Silk – a contender for player of the year – Somner and Moses, a good performer since the new boss came in.
Woodhouse is another strong contender for a fresh deal, but it all depends on whether he continues in the game or decides to concentrate on boxing.
It may surprise some that Stallard comes under the list of "likely to be released", along with goalkeepers Herriott and White.
The former Notts County man may have broken back into the team over the past couple of weeks and is still top scorer with nine goals.
But Stallard turns 35 in the autumn and Holdsworth may well wish to put his faith in a younger prospect. The maybes, one would surmise, will be Duffy, MacKenzie, O'Connor, Havern and Arnold.
In their cases, much will depend on who else Holdsworth can lure to Field Mill – and at what cost – as he aims to strengthen his squad.
For Arnold, it will be a time of much contemplation after being put on the transfer list in January following his refusal to commit to the club.
Despite the uncertainty, Mansfield does have a nucleus of talented players in place, meaning the club will not be starting almost completely from scratch – a marked improvement on previous years.
Nevertheless, it is going to require Holdsworth to show all his juggling skills to put the other pieces of the jigsaw in place.
How well he balances player demands, budget restrictions and squad requirements this summer could go a long way towards deciding whether he is a long- term success or failure at Field Mill.


MacKenzie to start for only the second time against Torquay
CHAD.co.uk, 27 March 2009, By Stephen Thirkill
CREATIVE midfielder Neil MacKenzie will get only his second start since he rejoined Stags against Torquay at Field Mill tomorrow.
Mackenzie rejoined Mansfield Town on non-contract terms in January after being released by Notts County but has so far only made one start and four substitute appearances.

He will partner Captain D'Laryea in the centre of the Stags midfield in the absence of Matt Somner (suspension) and Curtis Woodhouse (boxing).

Boss David Holdsworth said: "He is going to get a game and must now perform. He is frustrated that he has not played as many games as he would like, but tomorrow is a great chance for him to show us what he can do.

"He is playing for his future and a contract. He is an experienced player, I know his ability on the ball, but he needs to do the other things. He now needs to step up to the challenge."

MacKenzie previously appeared in 87 matches for the Stags from 2002-2004 in the Keith Curle era at Field Mill - notably scoring a dramatic winner at Hull City and the only player to score in the Play Off final penalty shoot-out defeat to Huddersfield.

The much travelled midfielder - also famous for becoming the first professional footballer to be a contestant on Channel Four's Countdown TV show last year when he won five matches in a row - started his career at Stoke City and has been at nine clubs.

Holdsworth demands positive reaction to Grays defeat
CHAD.co.uk, 27 March 2009, By Stephen Thirkill
STAGS boss David Holdsworth is demanding his side show him a positive reaction against Torquay following their late collapse last weekend.

Mansfield lost 2-1 against lowly Grays after they switched off defensively in the last eight minutes to concede two goals.

And furious Holdsworth is now calling on his players to show some fight tomorrow as they bid to disrupt Torquay's play-off plans.

The visitors, who are currently third in the Blue Square Premier Division, will be the first test in a tricky run of three games, which sees Mansfield travel to high-flying Histon on Tuesday and Wrexham the following Saturday.

Holdsworth said: "We are playing against a top side, they have been consistent throughout the whole season and that is why they are up there.

"It is important we play well because if we don't then we will get beat because they are a good team.

"I am looking for our players to show what they can do. I want 100 per cent from every player in every game, that is what the fans deserve and it is what I demand.

"We had a lapse of concentration against Grays and we have spoken about that as a team. It was very disappointing against Grays and I will look at the players now and see how they react."

Torquay won the corresponding fixture in Devon earlier this season 2-0 and have so far picked up 36 points on the road, including 11 wins.

No enquiries for transfer-listed Stags.
CHAD.co.uk, 27 March 2009, By Stephen Thirkill
THERE has been no interest in any of the Stags players currently on the transfer list, boss David Holdsworth has revealed.
So far Alan O'Hare, Nathan Arnold and Jason White, along with youngsters Jamie McGhee, Warren Burrell and Chris Wood have been told they can leave Field Mill.

But Holdsworth has found it dificult to offload his players as Mansfield Town look to re-jig their squad ready for the start of next season.

He said: "There will be thousands of players available in the summer and the phone has not rung yet. All I can do is help the players find new clubs and wait for the phone to ring."

As he waits to offload players Holdsworth is continuing to bring in new players, with Leeds United midfielder Oliver Hotchkiss being the latest new face at the club.

"He is a tremendous player and is well thought of at Leeds,"said Holdsworth.

"He has already got a good reputation for a young player and has a good range of passing.

"He has another year on his Leeds contract, it is hard breaking into squads like that and he could be a player that benefits us in a year's time.

Stags new boy equipped to cope with rough stuff
Evening Post, March 27, 2009

OLLIE Hotchkiss insists he can cope with the rough and tumble of Blue Square Premier football after joining the Stags.
The 19-year-old central midfielder has signed for Mansfield Town until the end the season from Leeds United, where he has been largely confined to reserve football.
But he believes temporary spells at UniBond League Garforth Town and Conference North Farsley Celtic have prepared him well.
"I think the time I spent at those clubs will be a big help because, when I first went out on loan, it was a big change from reserve football," said Hotchkiss.
"It's a lot more physical playing out on loan – and I expect it to be the same at Mansfield."
%3Cbody%3E%3Cdiv%20id%3D%22adDiv%22%3E%3CA%20HREF%3D%22http%3A//ads.anm.co.uk/ADCLICK/CID%3Dfffffffcfffffffcfffffffc/AAMSZ%3D452x118/POS%3D/SITE%3DTHISISNOTT/AREA%3DFOOTBALL/SUBAREA%3D/ARTICLE%3D849169/acc_random%3D9816584262/pageid%3D/RS%3D10340.10281.10307.10319.10428.10429.10464.10486.10508.%22%20target%3D%22_new%22%3E%3CIMG%20SRC%3D%22http%3A//iad.anm.co.uk/anmdefaultad.gif%22%20ALT%3D%22%22%20border%3D0%20style%3D%22margin-bottom%3A%200px%3B%22%3E%3C/A%3E%3C/div%3EHotchkiss is in contention to start against Torquay United tomorrow due to the absence of Curtis Woodhouse, who has boxing commitments, and Matt Somner, who is suspended.
The teenager – who trained with his new team-mates for the first time today – is likely to vie with Neil MacKenzie to play in the centre of the park.
He said: "I know I am going to have to battle for a place and I can't expect to just come in straight away.
"If I did start tomorrow, then I would be delighted, but if not, I have to hope I can get on as a substitute and impress. There are a lot of games between now and the end of the season."


Stags boss' praise for reserves
Evening Post, March 26, 2009

MANSFIELD deserved to win their reserve game at Macclesfield last night, says senior boss David Holdsworth.
Full story at Evening Post website here
He travelled to Moss Rose to see the club's second string play out a 0-0 draw with the Silkmen.
But he felt the Stags produced the superior football and could have posted an away victory.
"We played very well and were the better side and should have come out winning the game," said Holdsworth.
"We had five or six very good chances and I was very pleased with the boys."
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Holdsworth added: "Elijah had another good game – he was very steady.
"Luke took a little time to find his feet, but then came through well. He's a strong boy."


Sutton's Shiels earns Mansfield chance
Evening Post, March 28, 2009

SUTTON Town boss Danny Bryant is thrilled Luke Shiels has been given a trial with Blue Square Premier Mansfield Town. The central defender played for the Stags' reserves in their midweek game at Macclesfield Town. He helped the visitors keep a clean sheet at Moss Rose in a 0-0 draw.
Mansfield boss David Holdsworth said after the game he was encouraged by Shiels' display. And Bryant believes the Stags are keen to have a second viewing of the Snipes player.
"I am delighted that Luke is being given the opportunity to progress by Mansfield – I feel he deserves the chance," said Bryant. "I think David (Holdsworth) was pleased with him and will probably have another look. I hope Luke is the first of several players with potential who we can push in Mansfield's direction."


March 25, 2009
MANSFIELD have signed Oliver Hotchkiss from League One Leeds United on emergency loan until the end of the season.

Holdsworth on Hotchkiss


Stags snap up Leeds youngster
Evening Post, March 26, 2009
MANSFIELD Town have beaten today's loan transfer deadline to bring in central midfielder Oliver Hotchkiss from League One Leeds United.
Full story at Evening Post website here

The promising 19-year-old has signed on an emergency deal until the end of the season and goes straight into the squad to face Torquay on Saturday.
The suspension of Matt Somner and unavailability of Curtis Woodhouse because of boxing commitments has left manager David Holdsworth short of options in midfield.
Neil MacKenzie, his only realistic alternative, will vie with Hotchkiss for a starting berth.
"I have been aware of this young man for some time and have seen him play," said Holdsworth. "He can certainly get about the field and Scott Gardner also speaks very highly of him."
%3Cbody%3E%3Cdiv%20id%3D%22adDiv%22%3E%3Ca%20href%3D%22http%3A//ads.anm.co.uk/ADCLICK/CID%3D0000b139f7f5f6ff00000000/AAMSZ%3D452x118/POS%3D/SITE%3DTHISISNOTT/AREA%3DFOOTBALL/SUBAREA%3D/ARTICLE%3D845770/acc_random%3D7739354046/pageid%3D/RS%3D10307.%22%20target%3D_top%3E%3Cimg%20src%3D%22http%3A//iad.anm.co.uk/house/1x1.gif%22%20alt%3D%22Click%20here%21%22%20border%3D0%20%3E%3C/a%3E%3C/div%3EHoldsworth says that the youngster reminds him of Leeds legend Gary McAllister.
But it will be a far from easy start for Hotchkiss, who was on loan at UniBond side Garforth Town earlier this season.
Torquay come to Field Mill having won five and drawn three of their previous eight games, leaving them in a strong position to reach the play-offs.
Holdsworth said: "This game will give me a good yardstick for next season and if I need to bring players in. If the lads here keep performing well, then it will be on my mind that we don't need a load of new ones."
Mansfield's reserves drew 0-0 with Macclesfield in a totesport.com League clash at Moss Rose last night.


Stags sign Leeds midfielder on loan
CHAD.co.uk, 25 March 2009, By Tim Morriss
MANSFIELD Town boss David Holdsworth has moved to plug his central midfield hole by signing Leeds United midfielder Oliver Hotchkiss.

Full story at CHAD.co.uk here
Hotchkiss has joined until the end of the season and has a good chance of featuring against Torquay this Saturday, when the Stags will be without central midfielders Matt Somner (suspended) and Curtis Woodhouse (preparing for boxing bout on Sunday).

The 19-year-old, who started his career at Sunderland, has signed on an emergency loan.

Holdsworth said that the teenager - whom he likens to Leeds midfield legend Gary McAllister - has been praised by the Stags' recent signing from Elland Road, Scott Gardner.

The manager told the club's official website mansfieldtown.net: "I knew I would be light in midfield this Saturday and I am trying to be pragmatic in this area."

First team regular Jon D'Laryea is likely to be partnered by either Hotchkiss or Neil Mackenzie at the centre of the midfield for the visit of promotion chasing Torquay.


Hotchkiss can bring creativity to Stags – Holdsworth
Evening Post, March 26, 2009

DAVID Holdsworth is hoping new signing Oliver Hotchkiss can be the creative spark he feels his Mansfield side has been missing at times.
Full story at Evening Post website here
The Stags have climbed away from trouble at the bottom of the Blue Square Premier with solid if unspectacular performances.
But the team have not always opened opposition teams up as much as manager Holdsworth would have liked.
That is where he believes 19-year-old Hotchkiss – on loan from Leeds United for the rest of the season – can have a noticeable impact.
"Oliver is a ball player and a passer with an excellent range," said Holdsworth.
%3Cbody%3E%3Cdiv%20id%3D%22adDiv%22%3E%3CA%20HREF%3D%22http%3A//ads.anm.co.uk/ADCLICK/CID%3D0000b139f7f5f6ff00000000/AAMSZ%3D452x118/POS%3D/SITE%3DTHISISNOTT/AREA%3DFOOTBALL/SUBAREA%3D/ARTICLE%3D846892/acc_random%3D6806834370/pageid%3D/RS%3D%22%20target%3D%22_new%22%3E%3CIMG%20SRC%3D%22http%3A//iad.anm.co.uk/house/1x1.gif%22%20ALT%3D%22Click%20here%21%22%20border%3D0%20style%3D%22margin-bottom%3A%200px%3B%22%3E%3C/A%3E%3C/div%3E"He comes very well recommended and it's an opportunity for me to have a look at him for next season.
"He's a creative influence and I have been looking for someone with that creativity that sometimes we don't have.
"It will be tough for him because every game is like a cup final and I'm not prepared to just let the rest of the season slip by."
With a host games coming up in April, Holdsworth was aware that he was short of cover in the central midfielder area.
Neil MacKenzie and Jonathan D'Laryea would have been the only realistic choices for Saturday's home game with Torquay United until Hotchkiss' arrival.
Holdsworth said: "I have lost a couple of players in midfield and we are a little bit depleted in that area.
"Matt Somner will soon be back from suspension and Curtis Woodhouse should be back for Tuesday's game (at Histon).
"But we have seven games next month and this gives me a little bit more stability.
"We are going to need the bodies because there are always factors that you can't predict and account for."


Iyseden hopes to shoot down Stags
Thursday, March 26, 2009
IYSEDEN Christie is keeping everything crossed that Torquay United manager Paul Buckle gives him the nod with selection against his old club Mansfield Town at Field Mill on Saturday.
The 32-year-old striker scored more than 50 goals at nearly one-every-other-game in two previous spells with the Stags.
"Apart from a broken foot I got there, I have really good memories of my times at Mansfield — they were probably the best spells of my career," said Christie.
"On a personal level, it's always disappointing when you're not playing, and it makes it worse for me because I'm a long way from home."
Christie still lives in his home town of Coventry, but after a career with the Sky Blues, Mansfield, Leyton Orient, Kidderminster, Rochdale and Stevenage, he joined Torquay last month on a deal to the end of the season.
%3Cbody%3E%3Cdiv%20id%3D%22adDiv%22%3E%3Ca%20href%3D%22http%3A//ads.anm.co.uk/ADCLICK/CID%3D0000b1390000000000000000/AAMSZ%3D452x118/POS%3D/SITE%3DTHISISSDEV/AREA%3DGULLS/SUBAREA%3DHOME/ARTICLE%3D846408/acc_random%3D5430712292/pageid%3D/RS%3D%22%20target%3D_top%3E%3Cimg%20src%3D%22http%3A//iad.anm.co.uk/house/1x1.gif%22%20alt%3D%22Click%20here%21%22%20border%3D0%20%3E%3C/a%3E%3C/div%3E"As long as we keep winning, it takes a bit of the frustration away," he said.
"But I haven't really got started here yet.
"I picked up a hamstring injury, but that's 99 per cent OK now and I just need to put it through its full paces. You can only do that really in a game.
"I haven't had much football this season, so I feel like I've got plenty left in the tank.
"It would be good if I could help the team to get into the Play-Offs and win those, but automatic promotion hasn't gone yet either."
In Tuesday's 1-1 home draw with Grays Athletic at Plainmoor, United lost their centre-forward and leading scorer Tim Sills just before half-time.
He was suffering from a stomach bug which had reportedly affected several of the club's trainees. Sills should be fit for the trip to Derbyshire.
Buckle will also wait for a fitness report on defender Lee Mansell, who was due to be a substitute against Grays until he sustained a groin strain during the warm-up.
United missed a chance to move to within nine points of leaders Burton Albion, with two games against the Brewers still to come.
But they did stretch their unbeaten run to eight games.
Buckle believed that his team was entitled to more vociferous support during a frustrating evening, which has sparked some lively debate among fans.
"I didn't feel that there was any buzz in the crowd, and I don't know why," he said.
"It felt silent. It felt dead. The atmosphere has got to be better than that.
"Every team is up for it against us. We're up against it every single week, and we're going to need every element with us to try and get out of this league.
"We found ourselves a goal behind due to some sloppy marking from a set-play, but we recovered with a great goal from Roscoe Dsane.
"I can't remember Scott Bevan having much to do in the second half.
"It was all us in the second, but we couldn't find the goal, and we're disappointed we haven't won."


Mansfield Town v Torquay United - preview
By Gulls Reporter - 27/03/2009 18:41
It's a relatively long trip north for the Gulls this weekend, as Torquay United travel to fellow former Football League counterparts Mansfield Town...

Torquay United will be looking to make it five wins out of five on the road this weekend, when making the trip north to mid-table side Mansfield Town, as the Gulls look to keep the pressure on Cambridge United and Burton Albion above us in the table.

Once again a Tuesday night foray at home to struggling Grays in preparation for the game, proved to be a case of frustration rather than a scene of wholehearted joy, as coming from behind to claim a 1-1 draw put a huge dent in attempts to achieve promotion via the automatic route.

The Gulls will have two players sidelined for the trip to Field Mill. Mustapha Carayol has reported in ill, while Lee Mansell has a groin injury. However, that news does boost the chances of new loan signing Blair Sturrock getting a debut for United, after signing from Swindon Town until the end of the season.

On the match ahead, Gulls boss Paul Buckle claimed - "The players are in great form, six wins and two draws from the last eight. We're right up there in the form guide and we need to keep that going. Mansfield have won 11 at home so it's going to be very difficult, but we've won 11 away."

Mansfield have a bizarre scenario ahead of the game surrounding Curtis Woodhouse. The midfielder won't play due to professional boxing committments. Very strange... Other news sees Matt Sonner suspended, but Oliver Hotchkiss could make a debut after joining from Leeds United on loan.



Latest | March 2009