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Archived News from May 2009

18th May 2009 10:44

11 May 2009
Stags sign Luke Jones and Jake Speight

Duffy re-signs for two years, until June 2011


Luke Jones video interview --->


Holdsworth rebuilds for new term
BBC.co.uk, 11 May 2009
Mansfield Town manager David Holdsworth has completed a hat-trick of signings as he looks to build a squad to launch a promotion bid for next season.


Holdsworth has signed central defender Luke Jones and striker Jake Speight, while out-of-contract forward Robert Duffy has re-signed on a two-year deal.

Jones, 22, moves from Kidderminster Harriers while Speight, 23, was most recently with Droylsden.

Duffy, 26, joined in January and scored nine goals in 20 games last season.

Holdsworth was thrilled to have bought in some new faces and to have retained Duffy's services.

"I am delighted," Holdsworth told the club website. "Rob has shown he can score goals.

"A striker is judged by scoring goals and he has done that. If he can give us 15 plus goals next season we will be knocking on the door of the play-offs and that is where we need to be.

"Luke is a centre-half who can also play at right-back. He is strong and commanding and someone who I think the fans will like.

"Jake has been training with us for the past six weeks. He is very quick, has an eye for goal and is very hungry and we need hunger in our squad."


Stags make first summer signings
Evening Post, May 11, 2009

MANSFIELD have made their first two signings of the summer – central defender Luke Jones and forward Jake Speight.


Jones, 6ft 1ins and 22, was with Kidderminster last season and spent two years at Shrewsbury before that.
Former Sheffield United trainee Speight, 23, has been training with the Stags for the past six weeks while playing for Conference North side Droylsden.
Manager David Holdsworth said: "You only have to look at Luke to know what position he plays.
"He is strong and commanding and someone I think the fans will like.
"Jake is quick and has an eye for goal. He will give me options in my strike-force."


Duffy signs two-year Stags deal
Evening Post, May 11, 2009

ROB Duffy has signed a new two-year contract with Mansfield Town.


The Welsh striker scored nine goals in 20 starts and one substitute appearance after joining from Newport County in January.
He becomes the first out-out-of-contract player to re-sign for the Stags.
"I'm delighted Rob has extended his contract," said boss David Holdsworth.
"He has shown he can score goals in his first few months with us."


Holdsworth makes three signings for Stags
CHAD.co.uk, 11 May 2009, By John Lomas
DAVID Holdsworth began to shore up his squad today (Monday) with three signings, including two new faces.

Rob Duffy, joint top scorer with nine goals last season in 20 starts, has signed a new two-year deal, as predicted by Chad over the weekend.

He is the first out-of-contract player to be offered a new deal to re-sign.

And Holdsworth has given added competition up front with the signing of Jake Speight (23), from Droylsden, - again as predicted by Chad - who has impressed recently when training with the Stags.

Speight started his career at Sheffield United and has since played at Scarborough, Bury, Northwich, Farsley Celtic before Froylesden.

Also signed is powerful former Shrewbsury central defender Luke Jones (22), who spent last season at BSP rivals Kidderminster Harriers, playing 26 matches.


Jones wants League Two Stags action
Evening Post, May 16, 2009

LUKE Jones believes he can resurrect his Football League career – at Mansfield.
The central defender has signed a one-year deal at Field Mill with the option of a second after his contract expired at Kidderminster.
Jones started out at Shrewsbury, where he played in the League Two play-offs.
He is determined to help the Stags climb out of the Blue Square Premier and feels the club have the potential to rejoin England's elite 92.
"I have come to Mansfield because I am ambitious and want to do well – and I think I can do that here," said Jones.
"They wanted to keep me at Kidderminster, but once I spoke to the gaffer (David Holdsworth) I was very impressed with what he had to say and where he is trying to take this club.
"Hopefully we can get out of the Conference. We nearly got in League One with Shrewsbury, which was a good experience – and I want to have that again.
"You want to go up automatic if you can. Everyone has to strive for that, otherwise there is no point being in football."
Having experienced Field Mill on matchdays, Jones feels the club is geared up to bring back the good times.
He said: "I came to Mansfield early last season with Kiddeminster and it was a great atmosphere after Rebecca Adlington had just won her swimming medals.
"It's a great ground to play at and the facilities are a lot better than a lot in this league too.
"The gaffer has told me there is already a great team spirit and that is only going to get better."
Boss Holdsworth was a successful defender in his days with the likes of Watford and Sheffield United and Jones is looking to pick up some tips.
"I hope he can help me because I am still quite young and I'm still learning about the game every day," he said.


11 May 2009
Update on out of contract players --->

Holdsworth audio --->

Trio signed but others free to go
Only Arnold set to stay as contracts run out
CHAD.co.uk, 11 May 2009, By John Lomas
DAVID Holdsworth agreed contracts with three players today as he began building for next season.


Rob Duffy, joint top scorer with nine goals this season, has signed a new two-year deal.

And Holdsworth has offered newcomers Jake Speight (23) and Luke Jones (22) one year deals with one year options from 1st June.

Speight, from Droylsden, has impressed recently when training with the Stags while Jones is a powerful 6ft 1ins former Shrewbsury central defender who spent last season at BSP rivals Kidderminster Harriers.

But, apart from new talks with Nathan Arnold, Holdsworth has nothing on the table at present for the rest of his out-of-contract players who have all been given permission to speak to other clubs and allowed to go if they can get fixed up.

That includes Adie Moses and Mark Stallard whose current deals have not yet run out.

Gary Silk, Matt Somner, Aaron O'Connor, Alan O'Hare and Curtis Woodhouse are all free at the moment. They are out of contract and have been told they can come in and train if they want to but they can also speak to other clubs if they wish.

"It is very difficult and I have to be careful, but I want to help players," said Holdsworth.

"Mark Stallard and Adie Moses are two senior pros who have been different class. But at the minute I am not in a position to be able to offer them new contracts.

"I have told them they are welcome to speak to other clubs and I won't stand in their ways. They have families to think about.

"I am being honest with them. They are under contract but if they decide they want to take an offer that is on the table now, they can go.

"I will be sitting down with Nathan and seeing what the future holds. He is the only one who can't talk to other clubs right now. The rest can do so.

"I can only do what I can do with the restraints and with the club in mind. We are building here but it is only the first bud at the moment, not the full flourish.

"We know it will be tough competing financially with the likes of Oxford, Luton, Chester, AFC Wimbledon, Telford and the likes who will have big budgets.

"I am ambitious and Mr Perry and the board are ambitious. But have we got the fan base that can help us move forward? Only time will tell and the fans must recognise that."

Holdsworth began work on assembling his set of strikers today with the signing of Duffy and Speight.

Bringing back Daryl Clare also remains a priority and Holdsworth said: "I want five strikers in total, two big men, one flexible and two more box players.

"I want two units that can win the first ball. And the big men will be as important in defending set pieces as at the other end."

On Duffy he said: "It is an exciting prospect as he so many goals despite coming from a part time club with fitness levels not as high as I would expect.

"This is an opportunity to show he wants to go back into the League which he would hope to do. I believe we will get him in the fittest shape he's ever been in which bodes well.

"He will cover more ground and score more goals because he is fitter.
"He has got a fat bum and he's lazy - that's what people say about him, even though he scored nine goals.

"Rob has a stigma attached to him due to the way he runs a bit like a nancy at times.

"But he will always have that. We can't change the way he runs, we'd have to chop his legs off! But I couldn't be more happy with him and the most important thing is he wants to improve.

"He has a lot of mannerisms I like. He cares about what he does and I like that."

On Speight, he added: "Jake is a lively character who has trained here for a couple of months and is hungry for this opportunity.

"There have been a number of clubs wanting to talk to him but I have been closely connected with him for the last three months and he is a young man with a chance in the game.

"Here he will get full time football, full time training and full time love and understanding. Is he a gamble? He won't be if he scores goals.

He scored two in training here that made the other boys just stop and applaud him."

Holdsworth said of his other new signing: "Luke is very well thought of and I am delighted to have him here.

"I walked in with a real spring in my step when I knew I had the opportunity to speak to him.

"After speaking to him and seeing his impressive CV I was very, very pleased.

"He is a good centre half who can also cover the right back slot. He is comfortable on the ball and a physical presence in both boxes. he will be a great asset to this club.

"You only have to look at Luke to know which positions he plays.

"As a side we will be bigger and stronger. It is pace and power that will get you out of this league. The first thing I did when I got here was raise the height of the team.

"You have to be very tactically astutute. We were great at set pieces last season and will be even better next year. You must be able to win the physical battle."

Although how many season tickets are sold will determine the manager's final budget he will continue to speak to players and said "It is very exciting and very interesting. There is a lot of cat and mouse going on. But like I always say - you can't kid a kidder.

"There are a lot of numbers being thrown around, but I like honesty and some of the figures quoted by people on players' earnings are pure fabrication.

"If people are asking too much then I will say 'all the best and take care'."

Holdsworth also plans to farm his young stars out to good standard non-League clubs to get them experience with the option of a recall if they were needed for the first team.

Luke Herriott will also be fixed up with a loan club as third choice keeper with another keeper in the pipeline to back up Alan Marriott after Jason White was not offered a new deal.

Young strikers Connor Higginson and Grant Ryan will also go out, Higginson probably to Glapwell.

Left back Ben Turner will join Corby Town and central defender Tom Naylor is going on a season-long loan to Sheffield FC.

Three Scottish players will be joining in pre-season training which will include Stranraer dead ball specialist Martin McBride, who had a brief trial mid-season and is now a free agent, plus two wingers.

"Pre-season is everything," added Holdsworth. "We will cover about 40,000m - though not all at once!

"A lot of managers have packed up and gone to Butlins. But my players are in three days a week until the end of May.

"I will give them a core fitness and then they can have a few weeks off.

"But it would be stupid in my eyes to allow them nine or 10 weeks off.

"I would much rather be working than spend two months sitting in the south of France. I love my job, this is a fantastic life we are lucky enough to have. But I will go away with my wife for a couple of weeks.

"We have a great cameradarie here - a fellowship. People could see that at the end of season dinner on Friday. Players here become like brothers."

He added: "I want some good pre-season games and I am waiting for answers from clubs like Wolves and West Brom. We can get a Leeds XI here and we can play away at my brother's club Newport County as well as Alfreton, Gainsborough, Corby, Spalding, Glapwell and Frickley among others."


Stallard and Moses free to leave Mansfield
Evening Post, May 11, 2009

SENIOR players Mark Stallard and Adie Moses have been told by Mansfield Town they are free discuss their futures with other clubs.


The duo - caretaker managers before David Holdsworth took over from Billy McEwan as boss - are still under contract for a few more weeks.
But they have been given the option of trying to find a new team now.
Jason White has still to come to the end of his deal but has been told he will be leaving Field Mill at the end of it.
Holdsworth is hoping to sit down with Nathan Arnold and discuss his future in the next couple of days.
"Adie and Mark have been top drawer but at the moment I'm not in position to offer them new contracts," he said.
"I have told them they are welcome to recognise other clubs, even though they are still under contract, and if other clubs want to speak to them I won't stand in their way.
"They are good professionals and have families and I want to give them support.
"Jason recognises he will be moving on – he needs to get playing somewhere. But we still have to pay his wages so he is still working here for the moment.
"Nathan is still in contract and I will be sitting down with him and seeing what the future holds."
There are five other players who are now out of contract and free to consider their options – Gary Silk, Matt Somner, Curtis Woodhouse, Aaron O'Connor and Alan O'Hare.
Holdsworth is allowing all of them to train with the club, even though they are not currently being paid.
And he says it is not conceivable that one or more of that quintet stay with the club once his final budget has been clarified.
The Stags boss said: "Their contracts are up and they are available to speak to other clubs, but they have the opportunity to keep fit with us.
"They don't have to come in and do the work, they are free to do what they want.
"We are not in a position where we know exactly what money we have to work with, but some of them could still sign."


New men to make Stags a real force
Evening Post, May 12, 2009

NEW signings Luke Jones and Jake Speight can help Mansfield become a Blue Square Premier force, believes David Holdsworth.
Central defender Jones, 22, and forward Speight, 23, have agreed one-year deals with an option of another 12 months.
Jones, who can also play right-back, has arrived from Kidderminster while Speight had been at Droylsden.
The two are the first of several expected arrivals at Field Mill.
"I think Luke will be excellent for us," said Holdsworth. "He's comfortable on the ball but can head it well and is a physical presence, which is important."
Striker Rob Duffy has signed a new two-year contract with Mansfield.
Holdsworth said: "It is an exciting prospect because he scored goals coming from a part-time club."
Four current Mansfield players are still under contract but have not been offered new deals.
Goalkeeper Jason White has been told he will be leaving when his deal runs out while Holdsworth is set to open fresh talks with Nathan Arnold. Adie Moses and Mark Stallard have been given permission to speak to other clubs.
Five others – Gary Silk, Matt Somner, Curtis Woodhouse, Aaron O'Connor and Alan O'Hare – are now free agents.


Jake Carl Speight

Jake Carl Speight (born 28 September 1985 in Sheffield) is an English footballer, currently playing for Mansfield Town in the Football Conference.

Speight began his career at Sheffield United, but was released in 2005 without making any first-team appearances for the Blades. He subsequently joined Scarborough, where he spent three months before joining Bury. Speight played 34 times for Bury, mostly as a substitute, before being released in June 2007. He then signed for Northwich Victoria[1] He joined Farsley Celtic in the summer of 2008, and then moved to Droylsden in March 2009. On 11 May 2009, Speight joined Mansfield.[2]

Luke Jones

Jones began his career as a youngster at Blackburn Rovers where he helped the youth team to the semifinal of the FA Youth Cup in 2004, was captain when they won the FA Premier League National Final in 2005 and appeared in the reserves.[1] He spent the 2005–06 season on loan at Cercle Brugge in Belgium but was released by Blackburn in the summer of 2006 and joined Ashton United,[1] for whom he made one appearance in the UniBond Northern Premier League in September 2006. After a trial period with Shrewsbury Town,[2] he joined the club in November 2006 until the end of the 2006-07 season.[3] After making five appearances for Shrewsbury, his contract was extended in February 2007 by another year until summer 2008.[4] Jones made twelve appearances in the 2006-07 season, including both legs of the League Two playoff semi-final against MK Dons.[5] He was named on the team-sheet for the League Two playoff final at Wembley in May 2007 but was unable to play after injuring his knee during the warm-up before the game.[6] His knee injury required surgery[6] and it was four months later before he was able to return to full training.[7]

Jones returned to first-team action in November, but, with strong defensive competition, struggled to hold down a regular place in the team.[8] He joined Conference side Kidderminster Harriers on a one-month loan in February 2008,[9] which was extended for a further month.[10] New manager Paul Simpson chose to recall Jones early and he returned to Shrewsbury during March.[11] He made three further appearances for Shrewsbury,[8] but was released by the club at the end of the 2007–08 season.[12] After the successful loan spell earlier in the season, Jones joined Kidderminster in May 2008 on a one-year contract.[13]

At the end of the 2008–09 season, Jones was released by Kidderminster, and on 11 May 2009, he signed for Mansfield Town.[14]



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