AFC PREVIEWS+JULIAN CHEREL SIGNS + RADFORD IN PROG
New owner outlines ambitious plans
mansfieldtown.net, Tue 05 Oct 2010
New owner John Radford has revealed exclusively in tonight's match programme that he will look to bring back the Centre of Excellence and re-host Stags' fans in the North Stand.
His plans are revealed in answers to fans' questions via mansfieldtown.net.
In a six page special interview Mr Radford also says the club's ownership of Field Mill is high on his priority list and say we can now compete financially with 'the likes of Crawley and Luton'.
Buy your programme tonight for just £3 from the club shop or around the ground.
Return for Stags' youth policy?
CHAD.co.uk, Tue Oct 05 2010
AMBITIOUS Stags owner John Radford says he will look to resurrect the club's youth policy.
Mr Radford, who has been owner for just 10 days, says a decision to bring back the Stags' Centre of Excellence will be made by Christmas.
Meanwhile, Mr Radford will meet with health and safety chiefs to try and re-host Stags' fans in the North Stand.
The news comes in answer to Stags' fans questions in tonight's match programme against AFC Wimbledon.
Meanwhile giant French defender Julian Cherel has signed for the club on non-contract terms.
The ex-Hartlepool centre half has signed initially until the end of the week.
The 27-year-old stands at 6ft 5ins and was initially brought in as cover for Chris Smith who has been suffering with illness recently.
Said David Holdsworth: “He is a talented player who has been training Oldham. I will assess Julian's progress to see if he is worthy of a longer deal.”
Cherel signs non-contract terms
mansfieldtown.net, Tue 05 Oct 2010
Giant French defender Julian Cherel has signed on non-contract terms, David Holdsworth has confirmed,
The ex-Hartlepool centre half has signed initially until the end of the week.
The 27-year-old stands at 6 ft 5 inches and was initially brought in as cover for Chris Smith who has been suffering with illness recently.
Said David Holdsworth: "He is a talented player who has been training Oldham. I will assess Julian's progress to see if he is worthy of a longer deal."
Nix is a doubt as Stags wait on Smith decision
CHAD.co.uk, Mon Oct 04 2010
STAGS' midfield ace Kyle Nix remains touch and go to face AFC Wimbledon in tomorrow night's huge match at Field Mill.
Nix suffered a calf injury in a nasty tackle in Saturday's 1-1 draw at Gateshead and boss David Holdsworth said: “Kyle is playing very well and we don't want to lose him.
“But he is touch and go right now and time is against him being fit.”
Holdsworth already looks to be forced into another change with Adam Smith being suspended for three games following his red card on Saturday though Holdsworth is trying to get in touch with referee Peter Bankes to see if he will change his mind.
“I spoke to him after the game and he was very receptive,” he said. “I am trying to get hold of him today to hear his thoughts.
“If he still feels it was intentional then I understand and will respect that.”
If Smith is ruled out then summer signing Ashley Cain is likely to make his first start.
Skipper Steve Foster is almost certain to step straight back into the side after missing Saturday's game at Gateshead through suspension, though youngster Tom Naylor did well.
AFC Wimbledon arrive at Field Mill after dropping two more points, held at home by Forest Green on Saturday and are three points behind leaders Crawley in second spot, another three ahead of Stags.
But Holdsworth said: “This a massive game tomorrow. Expectation levels at Wimbledon are the top one or two.
“Of course we want to bear the teams expected to be at the top but we are the underdogs at home tomorrow.
“It will be all about how we start. And I want to see us play our football.
“Before the sending-off on Saturday I thought we played some of the best football I have seen since I came here.”
Mansfield manager Holdsworth focusing on overall picture
Evening Post, 5 Oct 2010
DAVID Holdsworth today defended Mansfield Town's record against their play-off-chasing rivals.
The Stags take on second-placed AFC Wimbledon tonight knowing a win will see them leapfrog the Londoners on goal difference.
Three of Mansfield's four defeats so far have come against teams in the top six – Luton, Fleetwood and Newport.
It was a similar story last season when they tended to struggle against the Blue Square Bet Premier's stronger outfits.
But Holdsworth remains unconcerned and is instead keen to focus on the club's bright start to the season.
"I couldn't give a monkey what other people think about that – the fact is we are doing very well," he said.
"Of course we want to take points off the teams at the top but I am not interested in other clubs and how they are doing.
"We go into every game wanting to win it whether it be Crawley with their fantastic backing or any other team.
"I know where we are in terms of our development and I'm every pleased with where we are.
"There has not been a game where he have not tried to pass the ball. The Geordies like their football and people up there (at Gateshead on Saturday) said we have got a good team together who pass the ball well."
AFC Wimbledon were held 1-1 at home by Forest Green Rovers at the weekend.
Holdsworth expects an intriguing clash against the Dons tonight, having seen his team lose 1-0 after missing two penalties in April.
He said: "We are playing a team on the threshold of the top one or two. It is a huge game for us against a team that has been leading the division early on.
"Terry (Burton) has put together a tremendous team and they are a good, progressive, healthy club.
"I have got a huge amount of respect for them and they will be up there come the end of the season, no doubt."
Experienced Sandwith keeping calm as Mansfield enter new territory
Evening Post, 5 Oct 2010
MANSFIELD Town in the John Radford era could well be venturing into new territory.
For years, the Stags have been a 'selling' club; one that had to cash in on its best assets.
Colin Calderwood, Craig McKernon, Simon Coleman, Phil Stant, Steve Wilkinson, Paul Holland, Darren Ward, Ian Baracough, Liam Lawrence, Giles Coke and Richard Barker are just some of the popular players who have left to help keep the club financially stable.
Of course, should the Stags get big money offers for any future stars, it will possibly be of benefit to club and player if a similar scenario unfolds.
But, at least now, they are likely to have more of a choice who stays and who goes.
And it is also clear, if last week's signing of Adam Murray from Luton is anything to go by, that they may be able to compete for the best players at whichever level they are playing.
With the transfer window shut and the majority of players under contract, there is unlikely to be a massive re-shaping of the Stags squad overnight.
In the longer term, though, boss David Holdsworth is sure to be on the look-out to improve a team that has started the 2010-2011 campaign encouragingly well.
That alone ups the ante for those players currently on the club's books. In essence, they are fighting for their futures. But experienced performer Kevin Sandwith insists he will not let that worry him – nor should it overly concern the rest of the squad.
"The club has stabilised sooner rather than later, which is a relief in the first place, because you did hear rumours the club was struggling for money," he said.
"Moving into the Christmas period there could be other players coming in now. The gaffer will probably have the pulling power to bring people in if injuries and suspensions kick in.
"But we work in an industry where everyone constantly lives in fear of being replaced – that's part of it from day to day.
"You just have to knuckle down, because from the club's point of view, it is very positive.
"Every week you have to play to the best of your ability anyway because there is someone ready to come in – the competition is already strong.
"If the club can add to what they have got, I'm sure they will do, but as a player you just have to keep performing well and show you deserve to stay in the team."
Tonight's visitors to Field Mill, AFC Wimbledon, finished eighth in the Blue Square Bet Premier last season and are second this term after a bright start.
Sandwith thinks they will be one of a whole host of teams who will still believe they can clinch a play-off spot or automatic promotion come the end of the campaign.
He said: "Luton are a massive club who you expect to be up there, even if they have probably not found it as easy as they might have expected at the start of this season when finishing so well last season.
"I don't think many teams will go there and pick up points.
"Crawley have been spending a lot of money so you would expect them to be up there.
"Newport and Fleetwood have come up and both started well, proving hard to beat.
"But there are a good ten teams in this league who will believe they can go up.
"There is Wimbledon and Wrexham – and Rushden have started to pick up now, and York will feel they can come into the picture.
"The competition is now really strong and there is a lot of money coming into this league.
"I think the standard of player is getting a lot of better, making it much more competitive, especially as the two clubs coming down from the league usually add quality."
Mansfield have a tough-looking October, having taken one point from two consecutive away games at Luton and Gateshead.
As well as the Dons this evening, they also face Rushden, Darlington and big-spenders Crawley.
"The gaffer has emphasised to us that we have some difficult games coming up, but I think the lads have looked at it and know that the next five or six weeks is going to be one of the toughest periods of the season," said Sandwith.
"But every game is tough in this league. You have to treat them with an equal amount of respect.
"If we can get through this period and we are still up there, then it puts us in a good position for the rest of the season."
After Paul Stonehouse started the season ahead of him at left-back, Sandwith took advantage of an injury to the former Forest Green man to win back his place in the side.
He said: "I'm enjoying it. I was disappointed to miss the first three games, of course, but apart from Fleetwood, it has gone pretty well for me.
"I have got used to playing with the lads now and we have had a few good results. Hopefully there are a few more to come."
Spotlight on Mansfield Town v AFC Wimbledon
Evening Post, 5 Oct 2010
Line-up: Marriott, Collett, Silk, Foster, C. Smith, Naylor, Sandwith, Stonehouse, Briscoe, Cain, Nix, Mills, Istead, Thompson, Murray, Connor, Parker, Medley, Duffy.
Line-up: Brown, Franks, Blackman, Harris, Jackson, Yussuff, Hatton, Gregory, S. Moore, Wellard, Main, Jolley, Kedwell, Turner, Bush, L. Moore.
Team news: Mansfield are waiting on the fitness of Kyle Nix (calf) and Alan Marriott (groin) who are both struggling. Adam Smith is also suspended after his dismissal at Gateshead on Saturday, unless his red card is rescinded, bringing the likes of Paul Stonehouse and Ashley Cain into contention. But the Stags welcome back skipper Steve Foster from a one-game ban and he will, most likely, take the place of youngster Tom Naylor.
One to watch: Christian Jolley. Signed from Kingstonian in the summer, the left-winger already has five goals in seven starts and four substitute appearances.
Manager: Terry Brown. The former Aldershot and Hayes manager is the man hoping to lead Wimbledon back into the Football League come the end of the season.
Yakubu and Gregory available for Mansfield game
afcwimbledon.co.uk, Monday 04 October 2010
Training went well today for Terry Brown when he was delighted to see some senior players available again after injury and sickness. But first he gave us some additional thoughts about Saturday's disappointing performance against Forest Green Rovers.
"On reflection about Saturday's performance it is evident that we never played anywhere near our capability and it is my responsibility to ensure that the frustration felt by the players does not deflect from the work rate and industry required to win a game when we are not playing well.
"As with any young side the one major factor missing is experience. They will only gain that experience through Saturdays such as the Forest Green game. Forest Green came with a very professional game plan with seasoned experienced players who shut us down and stopped us playing and broke on us very effectively.
"The consistency required to stay at the top will always be difficult to achieve without the necessary sprinkling of senior players. Hopefully Tuesday night should see the return of fit-again Ismail Yakubu and the well-again Steven Gregory. Both players trained today and are fit and available for Tuesday.
"Simon Bassey and I had the good fortune of seeing the Luton v Mansfield game last Tuesday. The score line was certainly affected by the dismissal of the Mansfield centre half which meant that Mansfield had to play with ten men for most of the game. Prior to the sending off I was impressed with the manner in which Mansfield played their football. They are one of the only sides I've seen this year whose 'keeper throws the ball out to his full backs and therefore I hope that our travelling fans will be treated to an open and exciting game of football."
Mansfield Town are currently sitting in fifth place, having briefly led the table in September. Following their draw at Gateshead on Saturday, they now have a chance to gain ground on fellow promotion hopefuls in October. After the second-placed Dons visit Field Mill on Tuesday, the Stags then face Darlington, who have not lost away all season, and Crawley, the current leaders, with a visit to Rushden and Diamonds squeezed in between.
Mansfield will no doubt be fielding recent signing Adam Murray, a midfielder on loan from Luton Town with a view to a permanent transfer in January. However, they will be missing Nathan Smith who was sent off at Gateshead on Saturday. Meanwhile, Steven Foster is available again after suspension.
Last season's game was memorable for a hard-fought 1-0 Wimbledon win thanks to a Danny Kedwell goal, with a second half rearguard action after Derek Duncan was sent off and ending with two superb penalty saves by Seb Brown in the final five minutes. With Mansfield having conceded only three goals in six home games this season, the Dons will have to be at their very best to repeat last season's result.
Fans who wish to book a place on the coach to Mansfield can still do so, as there are about a dozen spaces remaining. The coach will leave from the Grove at 1.30 pm and will pick up from Kingsmeadow at 2.00 pm. The price is £15.
THE BIG INTERVIEW
from matchday programme vs AFC Wimbledon
JOHN RADFORD OUTLINES STAGS' VISION
New Chairman John Radford answers questions sent in by fans via our official website http://www.mansfieldtown.net
Firstly, may I say thank you to you for securing the future of the club we all love. You have done what any true fan with the resources available would have wanted to do to keep our great club alive!
I work part time in a local secondary school. The other day I was in a lesson with students aged 11 to 12. To fill in time, we were having a competition asking general questions to the class.
I asked them which local football club had just been sold for £1. The kids had no idea! I asked them to name a local club......... they couldn't.
One lad put his hand up. I thought great..... at last!
He shouted..... "I know... Liverpool!"
I am shocked that these children who are potentially all future supporters of Mansfield Town are not even aware of our existence!
These are the fans and supporters of the future, our life blood and the fan base for our future existence.
These kids should all be talking about the last game, the next game, the goals, the players.
They should be exited about the club, the next game and be proud to support us.
What are you proposing to do to raise the profile of the club, encourage old and new supporters to the club and promote Mansfield Town to local kids, who don't even know or care that Mansfield have a football club?
Phil Selfe, Brinsley
We have to look at the initiatives previously tried such as the 'pay what you want' scheme last season versus Gateshead, where most people came and only paid a penny. Unfortunately, despite it being a great idea, the campaign didn't appear to be successful. I will look to put promotions in future editions of the programme such as 'collect two tokens from the programme and get a free ticket'. This will encourage programme sales and will hopefully bring more people through the gates. It is tricky, however, as we don't want to reach a situation where we have a 2,000 attendance, of which only 1,000 are paying. I do need to look at this in greater detail, however.
Further to that, we certainly need to continue our player visits to local schools and hand out tickets to local children to encourage them to come to more matches. We would certainly encourage more newcomers and I can only echo the fact that children aged under seven are allowed into the stadium for free, when accompanied by a paying adult.
Firstly I would like to thank you for coming to the rescue of our dear club; I like many others feared for our survival after hearing of the difficulties the previous owners were suffering so it was to some relief great news that Mr Radford had come to our rescue. The club clearly needs crowds of 3,000 plus to be financially viable. The team are winning and playing good football so what more can be done to attract a further 1000 supporters to games on a regular basis?
John Hardwick, Nottingham
We have to start promoting ourselves within local football leagues and begin to put our hands in our pockets by donating kits to young children. We would look to do this type of thing for all schools in Mansfield. We also need to review the pricing structure and this is also near the top of my priority list.
How do you intend to manage the conflicting aims of all club chairmen in wishing to take the club as far up the footballing pyramid as you can whilst also building a self-financing club not reliant on handouts from yourself?
Mark Fretwell, Sutton-in-Ashfield
I would love the club to be running on a self-financial basis. The club needs attendances of at least 3,000 to be self-financing and the ways to make the Stags self sustainable is something which is at the top of my agenda.
Mr Radford spoke in the website interview of looking at the gate pricing structure. Please could he revert to the concession price being restored to last season's price and also the age reduced to over 60 not 65 as applied this year. This would be easier to monitor as all you would need to prove your age would be your bus pass which also has photo I.D this would stop any fraudulent entry into the ground, I am sure this would increase the gate significantly as I am aware this season's price structure has prevented many retired pensioners from attending.
Robert Reynolds, Mansfield Woodhouse
We will certainly look at this, along with the whole pricing structure to allow the club to be self-financing.
I know you are the main sponsor of Doncaster Rovers, so why Mansfield Town? What makes you pick a club like us to own and become a part of?.
Sean Hart, Warsop.
I was born and bred in Mansfield, along with my family. I have only been in Doncaster for the past 15 years and have always followed the Stags' fortunes. It was easier for me to get to Rovers' games as I married a girl from Doncaster and my company is based there. My heart, however, has always been with Mansfield.
Congratulations with the purchase of the club from Andy Saunders, Steve Hymas and Steve Middleton. Without these three guys we wouldn't have had a club to follow each week and I think all the fans of the club are delighted that they will continue in an Non Executive role. We owe them a huge debt of gratitude.
Do you intend to pursue the possibility of purchasing Field Mill from Mr Haslam in order that the club can own the ground again, as opposed to being tenants?
I consider this important because, certainly at the lower levels, the ground is by far the largest asset that most clubs have. It also provides a greater sense of security for the fans and everyone else involved in the club. Additionally, it would also put behind us the 'Haslam era' which, for various reasons, is viewed with distaste by many Stags supporters.
Chris Ross, Sutton Coldfield (A similar question was asked by Robert Reynolds and Chris Vasper)
Yes, I intend to purchase Field Mill. To get the ground back into the club's name is certainly something high on my priority list. Either that, or we would look to find new premises. The Mayor is helping with the negotiations with Mr Haslam at this current stage so we will see what happens over the forthcoming months. At the moment, however, I can't really say too much more, but I will certainly look to get Field Mill back into our hands.
I really have only one question, having been a loyal Stag for 47 years and watched so many highs and lows, the team will always be Mansfield Town and forever supported by my son and I, whichever league they are in.
My question is three fold. If you buy the ground back, would you develop the Bishop Street and most importantly, give us all our pride back?
People say that we must have a football club in the town, and I wholeheartedly concur, however, the identity and heritage of the club was born on Quarry Lane, Field Mill.
I hope that you will buy the ground back and re-develop the Bishop Street side of the ground, and look upon it as reinstating a whole town's memories.
Disassociate yourself from Haslam, and I guarantee a 30% increase in through the gate support. We are not over zealous, grudge bearing fanatics Mr Radford, neither do we suffer fools gladly.
May I thank you and wish you every success at the home of my Gods
Colin Knight, The East Coast Stag
There are a few issues regarding planning but in answer to the question, yes, I would look to develop Bishop Street.
You spoke in your first interview about spending money on Field Mill with regards doing work on the stands. What work are you planning to do?
Kevin Marshall, Mansfield
Once, or if, we manage to get the stadium back into the club's name then the development of Bishop Street will be one of the first priorities as far as spending money on the stands is concerned. There is work needed with regards to toilet facilities and the changing rooms, however, I don't want to spend too much money on the stands until we know the position with owning the ground.
The supporters' trust, Stags Fans United, also has a non executive director on the board, Colin Dobell, who the previous owners were able to turn to for advice and assistance especially during the last few months of their ownership. Given the Trust have a sizable shareholding of Community Shares is it your intention to work closely not only with SFU, but also the other supporters groups connected to Mansfield Town?
Chris Vasper, Mansfield
Yes, I will work closely with all supporters groups and encourage them to come to board meetings and suchlike. I look to continue the transparency of which the previous three owners operated.
What do you see being for the first thing that Mansfield Town are going to need to be able to get back into Football League Two apart from getting promoted?
Anthony May, Sheffield
Our lease on the ground with Mr Haslam [the current landlord] is something which needs to be addressed. We need a lease of ten years in order to attain promotion. I need to resolve this before March of next year, so this is a small hurdle which we need to get over. Other than that, we need stability both in our team and in our finances.
This season we have had to scrap the centre of excellence and youth & reserve teams- is this something you want to reinstate?
Aaron Eccleston, Chipping Campden, Cotswolds, Gloucestershire. (A similar question were sent by Deryke Banner of Forest Town)
It is something that Steve Barker, the new chief executive, will be looking at. We will need to know why it was scrapped, firstly. I don't think the cost of its running was too high and so we are looking to re-instate it. A decision on this could be reached by Christmas.
John, is there any chance of the home fans getting the North Stand back anytime soon under your ownership?
Jake Allsop, Mansfield
I love the North Stand and would love to have it back. There was a health and safety issue dating back to a game between Mansfield and Doncaster where objects were thrown at the Doncaster supporters, further preventing us from using the North Stand. Getting the North Stand back to our supporters is certainly something I want to see happen and this is something I will be speaking about to Health and Safety personnel.
Hi John, we are really excited about your comments of us hopefully being a Championship club. I have heard you may change the name of the Field Mill Stadium, is that true?
Steven Rhodes, Mansfield
No, I don't want to do that. I have not even thought about changing the stadium's name.
Do you consider David Holdsworth to be the man who can guide us to promotion?
Dave Jackson, Kikrby-in-Ashfield
Yes, I have been impressed with him so far and with his knowledge of the game. I have faith that David can deliver promotion and I am pleased with the way the team is working under him.
Will any money be given to the manager to buy players in the transfer window and if yes, how much?
Daniel Swinbourne, Blidworth
So far, David has only asked me for a couple of players, and I have granted permission to acquire these players. I would imagine we will spend a bit of money in the transfer window, but we will have to wait and see.
Can the club now compete financially with the likes of Luton and Crawley? Do you expect us to be in the top five of clubs in this league in terms highest paid players?
Matthew Shilton, Hucknall
Yes, there are no problems there at all. We can compete with the likes of the clubs mentioned with wages and things like that. The club is, however, burning money at the moment, but we may need to do this if we are to stand a chance of promotion.
It is great news that you have purchased the Stags John. Good luck for the future. Did you think about buying the football club in March 2007 when Keith Haslam first indicated that he was prepared to sell the club?
Darren Shaw, Leeds
Yes I did. However, I missed out on that opportunity. I have only just reached the stage where I can sit back a little more from my business and wouldn't have been able to give the club the time it deserved had I taken over at that particular point.
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