CHALLINOR/BROUGH COMPLETEMOVE,STAGS MISS ON TONKIN
David Holdsworth video interview
Challinor completes permanent move. on free transfer --->
January 05, 2010
Late competition fought off as pair sign for Stags
CHAD.co.uk, 06 January 2010, By John Lomas
STAGS loanees Michael Brough and Jon Challinor have both put pen to paper for the rest of the season.
Mansfield did have to fight off late interest from elsewhere in Brough - believed to be BSP rivals Stevenage Borough - but the valuable utility player was adamant he wanted to stay with Mansfield.
"We are delighted Michael chose to stay here and wasn't attracted by a bigger package elsewhere," said boss David Holdsworth.
"He wanted to come here and wanted to play for Mansfield Town. We have an excellent relationship with his club, Torquay United, and I must thank Colin Lee and Paul Buckle for their help.
"Jon has also signed which we are delighted with too and we should have the Andy Burgess deal signed next week. I am not anticipating any problems with that."
Burgess faces an FA hearing tomorrow (Thursday) over alleged infringement of betting rules, but Stags and the player are not expecting any bans arising from the inquiry.
Holdsworth has already announced that 6ft 4ins former Burton defender Aaron Brown will come in on trial and he revealed today that he also has made an enquiry over another centre half from 'a leading club in the Blue Square Premier' and is awaiting a response.
Former Reading defender Brown talks to Mansfield
CHAD.co.uk, 06 January 2010, By John Lomas
Former Reading defender Aaron Brown, who stands 6ft 4ins, is among David Holdsworth's targets as he seeks to bring in two more players to shore up his rearguard.
Brown (26) was due in to speak to Holdsworth yesterday but snow wrecked those plans. "He is a commanding defender and has played in the League," said Holdsworth. "He has left Burton and is now looking for an opportunity and I would like to bring him ADVERTISEMENTin on trial."
Brown's previous clubs include Tamworth and Yeovil as well as playing for England C.
Holdsworth said he had three irons in the fire at the moment. But he has all but given up on talented Cambridge United left back Anthony Tonkin with Oxford United looking to have captured his signature with a better deal than Stags could offer.
Another move not happening is American centre half Anthony Peters' proposed deal to join the Stags full time.
The 6ft 4ins trialist was expected to sign a contract this week. However, after discussions with the players' representative, it would seem Peters priced himself out of Stags' wage budget.
"I have a financial structure at this club which remains stable," said Holdsworth.
"He is a cracking lad but when you deal with agents sometimes you find it doesn't go as you want. I have tried to help him by giving him a few numbers to call and will give him a good reference."
Snow time to waste as Holdsworth looks to re-jig squad during transfer window
CHAD.co.uk, 06 January 2010, By John Lomas
WITH heavy snow and freezing conditions wrecking training plans, Mansfield Town boss David Holdsworth has used the time to begin his ins and out as the January transfer window opened this week.
Holdsworth has been running up the phone bill with calls to clubs to try to locate two more suitable defenders, find clubs for players he wants out on loan and also tie up deals for players whose current loans with Stags are ending.
"I will be sitting down with Mr Perry when he returns from holiday to have a chat about where we are regarding a player or players to improve the squad but am on the phone non-stop," he said.
The club are due to face Luton Town in a mouthwatering promotion clash at Field Mill this Saturday (3pm) but, as the snow fell and the freeze took a grip, Holdsworth admitted: "It is looking a bit bleak.
"You never know, the blanket of snow may protect the pitch though it is appalling on there right now. I know Mike (groundsman Merriman) is as frustrated as we are.
"The boys are having to go indoors again when they can and we had to cancel training today (Tuesday). They are working hard and keeping a smile on their faces. They are just looking forward to the New Year and what it can bring."
Plans to send out Stevie Istead and Scott Gardner on loan to Chester City have been scuppered by the Seals' ongoing transfer embargo problems.
Chester, who were almost kicked out of the league before Christmas over outstanding debts, were hoping to take the duo on a month's loan with Stags having a 24-hour call-back clause on them after the first month.
Istead has been out on loan at Alfreton Town, where he has only played three times in his month due to illness and postponements.
"Stevie has been unlucky at Alfreton as he has only played three games there and has been ill recently," said Holdsworth. "We have had a number of clubs enquiring about him due to his nature and his strength. Where could I put him in my team at the moment?"
Young defender Gardner has been told he can leave the club if someone comes in for him as he is down the full-back pecking order and there is no reserve team to play in.
"The lad needs games and I can't give them to him right now," said Holdsworth.
"If he can get regular football I won't stand in his way, equally I am happy for him to remain here if that doesn't happen.
"Gary Silk is playing his best football I have seen at right back, not only attacking-wise but he has improved his defending as well.
"With Michael Brough and Jon Challinor able to cover that position it is hard to see Scott getting a game, though I would have no hesitation in playing him if I needed to. He is a good kid."
Kettering have decided not extend winger Craig Dobson's loan but, with his loan spell at Stags already up, the player is now a free agent after Holdsworth was disappointed with his impact during his brief time at the Mill.
With Daryl Clare back at Field Mill after his loan spell at Gateshead, Lee Morris has returned to Hereford United with no extension to his disappointing month's loan.
Of the other loanees already at the club, Challinor and Brough will sign until the end of the season while Andy Burgess has a deal until the end of next season.
Holdsworth is also hoping to keep Leeds midfielder Ollie Hotchkiss until at least the end of the season and maybe the end of next season if possible.
"I have asked Leeds if he can stay and am now just waiting for an answer." he said. "I am really encouraged by the fact Ollie wants to stay here. It would be a tremendous coup for us."
Stags miss out on Cambridge ace
Evening Post, January 05, 2010
MANSFIELD Town boss David Holdsworth made a bold move to sign Cambridge United's Anthony Tonkin – but is set to be outgunned by Oxford United.
The left-back set up Cambridge's goal in their recent 2-1 defeat to the Stags at Field Mill and is out of contract at the end of the season.
But the Blue Square Premier high-flyers are poised to snap up the 29-year-old as they can offer a bigger financial package than Mansfield.
Although disappointed, Holdsworth says it demonstrates his intent to vie for the best players.
"I want to bring in two defenders if I can,"said Holdsworth.
"I am looking for a centre half, having let Luke Graham go to York. But it is never easy because the ones we are looking at are a little bit expensive.
"There are also a lot of clubs who are flush with cash at the moment, even in the league below, and we are trying to compete with that.
"I knew Tonkin might be leaving Cambridge and he's a very talented player but there is no way we can compete with Oxford for him. We haven't got that same finance.
"I don't get the hump when we can't get such players, but it shows we are in the market."
Holdsworth has contacted Leeds about extending Ollie Hotchkiss's loan.
Scott Gardner and Steven Istead will no longer be joining Chester City on loan as the Blues are under a transfer embargo.
Meanwhile, Holdsworth has refuted claims he has been contacted by Notts County about their vacant managerial post.
He said: I can categorically say I have not had an interview at Notts County.
"I don't know where people get this from. I have committed myself to Mr (Andy) Perry, Mansfield Town and the supporters with a four-year contract."
Tuesday, 5th January
13.21: Former Reading defender Aaron Brown, who stands 6ft 4ins, is among David Holdsworth's targets as he seeks to bring in two more players to shore up his rearguard. Brown (26) was due in to speak to Holdsworth today but snow wrecked those plans. "He is a commanding defender and has played in the League," said Holdsworth. "He has left Burton and is now looking for an opportunity and I would like to bring him in on trial." Brown's previous clubs also include Tamworth and Yeovil and he has also played for the England C side. Holdsworth said he had three irons in the fire at the moment. But he has all but given up on talented Cambridge United left back Anthony Tonkin with Oxford United looking to have captured his signature with a better deal than Stags could offer.
Garner ready to fight for his Stags shirt
Evening Post, January 06, 2010
SCOTT Garner will not be fazed by the extra competition David Holdsworth is keen to bring to Mansfield Town, insisting today: "I'll relish the challenge."
The Stags boss has made no secret of the fact he is looking to recruit new blood at the back, including a central defender.
And the departure of summer signing Luke Graham to York City has sharpened the need to strengthen in that position.
Garner knows that a new signing in the transfer window could put his place in the team under threat.
But the 20-year-old, who has made 24 appearances this season, is determined to fight for his place, along with Luke Jones and Michael Brough.
"You never know who the gaffer is going to bring in and that is definitely a big motivation," said Garner.
"I want to keep my place in the team so I have to carry on putting in the best performances I can. I think the competition can only be a good thing – I don't think anyone wants to go from week to week knowing they have a place in the team.
"But the gaffer is not going to let that happen here, nor should he. He wants to keep everyone on their toes.
"Everyone is having to work hard and you can see that in the gym sessions we have had over the past few days."
Garner is pleased with Mansfield's overall progress so far this season.
But he is frustrated the Stags have not been able to put a significant run of wins together since they won four on the bounce early in the season.
He said: "We seem to win a couple and then drop points when we shouldn't be.
"If you can string four or five wins together you can shoot up the table and that has to be our aim – so you can be challenging at the top."
Studious Garner eager to aid Stags' progress
Evening Post, January 08, 2010
IT'S commonplace for managers to keep tabs on their opposition in the shape of scouting reports, but so too, it seems, do some players.
Although he doesn't employ a dossier, Mansfield Town defender Scott Garner likes to know exactly what he is going to come up against in each game.
Garner is always primed for what to expect, whether it is the combative Steve Fletcher, whom he encountered on his debut against Crawley last January, or the highly-rated Chris Holroyd, against whom he played last time out against Cambridge.
The 20-year-old believes that going into the unknown instantly puts a defender at a disadvantage.
That is why he does everything in his power to discover what lies in store from week to week.
And he has come to realise that consistency is all-important.
"It is all well and good playing well in just one game, but the best players play well week in, week out. To do that, you have to concentrate hard and you have to know the players you are going to come up against," said Garner.
"You have to do some research on them and make sure you know what you are going to come up against – what their strengths and weaknesses are. That has proved to work quite well.
"The gaffer usually tells us what we can expect, but I also try to find out bits as well.
"If I know anyone who has played against the people I am going to mark, then I try to ask them.
"It is getting easier to know now I have played almost a full season and have come up against most of the teams and players before.
"If I'm playing against someone I don't know well, I try to work it out as quickly as I can in the game. What he's good at and not and how to play him."
Until the FA Cup and wintry conditions caused an unscheduled winter break, Garner had hardly had the chance to catch his breath in what has been a breakthrough season for him.
Apart from suspension, he has been an ever-present at the back.
He said: "It's my first full season at senior level having played some of last year at Ilkeston while with Leicester.
"I think it has gone reasonably well – and there have been more good patches than bad patches.
"We can be satisfied where we are but we still have to crack on and see if we can do even better.
"We are hoping the Luton game will be on, but if not we just have to look forward to the next game (away at AFC Wimbledon next Saturday)."
Garner and his frequent partner in the middle of the defence Luke Jones have both taken the captain's armband during the campaign in the absence of Gary Mills.
It is a reflection of the esteem in which they are held by manager David Holdsworth, even though both still have a fair way to go before they can consider themselves the finished article.
"I've been playing with Luke most of the time and, like me, he is still learning," said Garner.
"We haven't got the same experience as some other partnerships but I believe it's improving.
"We are striving for more clean sheets though and the gaffer is trying to help us with that. He played as a defender at a very good level and if we have got any questions, there is no one better to ask.
"We have had training on how to keep our shape and other things that help.
"I have to keep learning the game because I am still pretty young."
Garner believes Mansfield can still improve defensively in the second half of the season, despite a reasonable record at the back.
He said: "Our aim is to get near the top of the league and if we can put a little run together we can.
"It's been frustrating that a lot of the goals we have conceded recently could have been avoided.
"Goals like the one against Cambridge, where you concede just before half-time – there is nothing worse than that.
"If we can keep more clean sheets then everyone's happy and we are all determined to make it happen."
Mansfield have recently brought Jon Challinor, Michael Brough and Andy Burgess to the club on permanent deals after loan spells.
Garner insists those acquisitions can only help the Stags between now and April.
"I think the quality of players brought into the club on loan is high and I don't think it has taken us too long to gel," he said.
"But the more we play together, the better we will become and hopefully as the season comes towards the end, we can really push on.
"A place in the play-offs is what we want and if things go really well, you never know, we could still challenge for the title."
If things go to plan at the season's end, Garner will have a whole new set of players to learn about.
Mansfield's game is poised to be postponed but a final decision will be taken today.
Stags in fight for Hotchkiss
Evening Post, January 07, 2010
MANSFIELD Town face a battle to keep hold of midfielder Ollie Hotchkiss.
The 20-year-old's three-month loan from Leeds United ran out after he played in the Stags' 2-1 victory over Cambridge United on December 28.
But there has now been interest from elsewhere in acquiring his services.
Holdsworth is hoping Hotchkiss' two spells at Field Mill will convince him Mansfield are the right club to take his career forward.
The Stags boss has already put on record his desire to keep the Sunderland-born player next season as well.
"I'm still hopeful of finalising a deal for Ollie, but there is competition for him," said Holdsworth.
"I'm hoping the relationship I have struck up with him will be a telling factor in our favour."
Mansfield are set to take 6ft 4ins defender Aaron Brown on trial following his release by Burton Albion after their move for American trialist Anthony Peters fell through.
But Holdsworth is in the market for other defensive targets besides the Birmingham-born 26-year-old.
He said: "I have inquired about two defenders, not including Brown, who are at decent clubs.
"With Aaron, we are looking to get him in training and involved in a practice game, hopefully against Chesterfield on Tuesday.
"He could fit the bill with his size, strength and experience."
Steven Istead's loan spell at Blue Square North side Alfreton Town could yet be extended.
The midfielder was due to join Chester City earlier this week but the deal fell through as the Blues have been placed under a transfer embargo.
"Whether Alfreton want to take him again is up to them and I have good relations with their manager Nicky Law," said Holdsworth.
"But as with a lot of clubs including ourselves, it comes down to where they stand with their finances."
CHAD AUDIO: Ollie Hotchkiss hopes to finish season with Stags
CHAD.co.uk, 07 January 2010, By John Lomas
OLLIE Hotchkiss is hoping his parent club Leeds United will allow him stay on loan at Field Mill for the rest of the season.
A decision is expected this week and in this exclusive audio interview, the promising young midfield talks about his long term hopes, his summer double hernia operation, Leeds United's fantastic season so far and his hopes of ending it with a Wembley outing with Mansfield.
Latest | January 2010