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Archived News from November 2010

5th November 2010 0:08


Pilkington makes Field Mill return
mansfieldtown.net, Thu 28 Oct 2010
Former fans favourite Kevin Pilkington has made his return to Mansfield following a five year absence.


David Holdsworth has been forced to move for another goalkeeper with Mikhel Aksalu struggling with a stomach injury and being treated by medical staff at parent club Sheffield United. The Estonian had been filling in for Alan Marriott whilst he recovers from a groin injury.

36-year-old Pilkington joins up with the squad in a loan deal from Luton which will keep him at Field Mill until January 8th 2011. He needs very little introduction to Stags' fans after making 167 appearances in the amber and blue between 2000 and 2005.

Pilkington began life at Manchester United signing from school in 1990. He went on to make six appearances under Alex Ferguson in the Premiership but with first team opportunities strictly limited at Old Trafford, made his way to Mansfield in 2000 via a number of clubs including Port Vale, Rotherham and Rochdale.

He played a key part in our promotion from Division Three in 2001/02 continually impressing with his second-to-none shot-stopping abilities. He then went on to make 141 appearances for near-neighbours Notts County after joining the Meadow Lane outfit in 2005 before leaving for Luton, as cover for Mark Tyler, on loan late last year.

After a brief return to Notts County, he joined the Hatters on a permanent deal in the summer and has made two appearances in the BSBP so far this term.

He will go straight into contention for this weekend's league visit of high-flying Crawley.

Manager David Holdsworth said: "Circumstances have unfolded which means that Mihkel will be out for two-three weeks.

"I have had to act quickly and a lot of hard work has gone into the signing of Kevin Pilkington. I am delighted to secure his services. He is an able goalkeeper who has the experience and maturity to head us into high level games."


Pilkington - 'I jumped at the chance'
mansfieldtown.net, Thu 28 Oct 2010
New signing Kevin Pilkington says that he had no doubts over making his return to Mansfield.


Speaking exclusively to mansfieldtown.net, he said: "I got a phone call yesterday from the Gaffer (Holdsworth) saying that he wanted me on loan and I jumped at the chance.

"I had five great years here, I thoroughly enjoyed my time here and so it's good to be back."

The 36-year-old said that despite having to leave Field Mill for pastures new in 2005 over a contract dispute with then manager Carlton Palmer, his memories of playing for the Stags were largely fond.

He added: "We got promoted, unfortunately we got relegated and we got to the play off final so three out of five years we achieved things. One wasn't very good but the other two were great.

"There have always been great people here, a great team spirit and I'm a local lad so yeah, it's great to be back."

In addition to the good memories he holds, the former Notts County man went on to explain that his decision to move north from Kenilworth Road was also motivated by the need to play more regular football. As cover for Luton's Mark Tyler, Kevin has so far been limited to just two appearances in the BSBP this season which he is keen to increase.

"I just want to play football. I'm not getting that down at Luton at the moment for one reason or another and I'm looking forward to playing some football.

"I'm getting on a little bit, but still fit though, and I just want to play football with a smile on my face and enjoy it whilst helping Mansfield get back to where they want to be."

With Mihkel Aksalu's stomach injury looking like it could sideline the Estonian for a number of weeks; Pilkington could be called into action as early as Saturday for the visit of highfliers Crawley. Although his loan deal is set to expire on January 8th 2011, the Hitchin-born shot-stopper did not rule out turning it into a more permanent arrangement.

"I think I can still improve. I look after myself and keep fit and I still think that I can play for another four or five years.

"It all depends on what Luton are thinking, how well I do here and what the manager is thinking. If I come here and do the business then we'll see but I've got to go out there and perform first and then take it from there.

"I'm still a Luton player at the moment but I'm happy to come here."


Pilkington 'jumped' at Mansfield loan deal
Luton Town keeper Kevin Pilkington has been loaned to Blue Square Bet Premier rivals Mansfield Town for three months.


The 35-year-old has had to play second fiddle this season to Hatters number one Mark Tyler which has meant that the former Manchester United stopper has only featured twice in the Town nets.

Pilkington joins fellow Hatters Adam Murray who is also on loan at Field Mill - a club that he made 167 appearances for between 2000 and 2005.

The keeper said: "I got a phone call yesterday from the Gaffer (David Holdsworth) saying that he wanted me on loan and I jumped at the chance."

He added: "I just want to play football. I'm not getting that down at Luton at the moment for one reason or another and I'm looking forward to playing some football.

"I'm getting on a little bit, but still fit though, and I just want to play football with a smile on my face and enjoy it whilst helping Mansfield get back to where they want to be.

"I think I can still improve. I look after myself and keep fit and I still think that I can play for another four or five years.

"It all depends on what Luton are thinking, how well I do here and what the manager is thinking. If I come here and do the business then we'll see but I've got to go out there and perform first and then take it from there.

"I'm still a Luton player at the moment but I'm happy to come here."


Pilkington cannot wait to get going again on his return to Mansfield Town
Evening Post, 29Oct2010
GOALKEEPER Kevin Pilkington cannot wait to pull on the Mansfield Town shirt again – and has vowed to help play a part in getting them back into the Football League.


He is returning to Field Mill on loan until January, more than five years after he left the club, and is set to start against Crawley Town tomorrow.

Manager David Holdsworth has called on the experienced Pilkington to solve his goalkeeper crisis, with Alan Marriott and on-loan Mihkel Aksalu both injured.

Pilkington, 36, made 189 appearances for the Stags between September 2000 and May 2005, before moving to Notts County, where he spent another five years.

He joined Blue Square Premier Luton Town in the summer but has been playing second fiddle to Mark Tyler.

Pilkington is delighted to be given a chance to play again.

He said: "I cannot wait, it has been a frustrating spell. I know what the club is all about and with the takeover recently happening, it is all looking good for the future.

"Mansfield is where I started playing regularly. They gave me the opportunity and I had an eventful time here.

"We won promotion, we also lost on penalties in the play-off final. It was an excellent five years.

"I am local, I went to Notts County for five years but that does not affect anything. I loved my time at Mansfield and cannot wait to play again.

"I know some of the lads, other players have gone back and are doing well like Adam Murray and Rhys Day, who I know really well.

"I want to go back and enjoy it and help Mansfield out and hopefully play some part in helping get them out of this league.

"Mansfield, like Luton, are a big side in this league and this opportunity to go back was not one I was going to turn down.

"It is weird how things work out. I went to see Richard Money (Luton boss) on Monday about going out on loan, I never expected anything to happen this quick. It's great for me."


Pilkington has call-back clause
BY JAMES CUNLIFFE, 29Oct2010, bedfordshire-news.co.uk
Kevin Pilkington can be called back to Luton Town at a day's notice after being loaned out to Blue Square Bet Premier rivals Mansfield Town yesterday.


Manager Richard Money revealed that the keeper has been sent to Field Mill to get games after being restricted to only two appearances this term due to the good form of Mark Tyler.

The 36-year-old former Manchester United stopper has previously spent five years at the Nottinghamshire club from 2000.

“He's got a 24 hour recall and we think it's a common sense decision," said Money. “He's been more and more anxious to get game time and you can arrange reserve games and practice matches, but it's not the same.

“We know that he's an excellent goalkeeper and we felt that this particular opportunity to go to Mansfield, close to his home, was the right one to take."

The manager also revealed that the Hatters are currently running the rule over a 22-year-old Ilkeston Town stopper, but that until a decision is made, Lewis Kidd will be promoted from the development set-up to the bench for tomorrow's home match against Bath City.

Money said: “We have a boy with us at the minute called Dan Lowson from Ilkeston and we'll continue to look at him and make a decision on him next week.

“Tomorrow, young Lewis Kidd will be involved with the group. He's shown a lot of potential this year and he's improving, so we've got no quarms about having him in the squad tomorrow.

"For Kevin, he needs game time and it keeps him sharp, and that's the main thing."


Spotlight on Mansfield Town v Crawley Town
Evening Post, 29Oct2010
Mansfield (from): Pilkington, Aksalu, Collett, Cook, Silk, Foster, Grand, Day, Stonehouse, Sandwith, Briscoe, Cain, Nix, Murray, Thompson, Vincenti, A. Smith, Connor, Duffy, Parker, Medle,y Gregory.


Crawley (from): Kuipers, Wilson, Mills, Quinn, Rents, Neilson, Bulman, B. Smith, Howell, Tubbs, McAllister, Brodie, Torres, Hall, Cook, Masterton, Wright, Cogan.

Team news: On-loan goalkeeper Mihkel Aksalu is suffering from a stomach injury, leading to Kevin Pilkington being brought in on loan from Luton Town. Number one stopper Alan Marriott is still out with a groin injury.

Keigan Parker (foot) hopes to be back in contention after missing last weekend's FA Cup tie at FC Halifax Town.

Peter Vincenti will hope to make his debut having also missed that clash at the Shay following his loan move from Stevenage.

Crawley will welcome back record signing Steve Brodie (a reported £275,000) after suspension, but he will fight a battle with Craig McAllister to start.

One-time Mansfield target Adam Quinn is set to replace Kyle McFadzean at the back, who is suspended after reaching five bookings.

One to watch: Matt Tubbs. The prolific striker has continued for Crawley where he left off at Salisbury following a £75,000 summer move, having netted 11 goals in 16 starts so far.

Manager: Steve Evans. The outspoken former Boston United manager has described his task this season as 'Project Promotion' and led the Red Devils to second in the table after 16 games.


Former Stags star returns to face Crawley
CHAD.co.uk, Thu Oct 28 2010

MANSFIELD TOWN have turned to former goalkeeping star Kevin Pilkington as emergency cover for this Saturday's massive game with big-spending Crawley Town at Field Mill.


With Alan Marriott recovering from a groin operation, Stags had brought in Sheffield United's Estonian international keeper Mihkel Aksalu on loan as cover.

But he suffered a stomach injury in training last week, played in pain last weekend, and, following a scan, has now been ruled out for up to three weeks.

So manager David Holdsworth has once again moved quickly to fill the keeper's jersey and brought Pilkington (36) back to Field Mill on loan from Luton Town on a three-month deal.

The former Manchester United youngster spent five seasons with the Stags, including a play-off final at Cardiff and made 167 appearances before moving on to neighbours Notts County where he also spent five years before joining the Hatters.

“It has been a long time and I am looking forward to it – I can't wait,” said Pilkington.

“It came out of the blue yesterday though I had heard a whisper that Mansfield were looking for a keeper and was crossing my fingers.

“When the gaffer phoned me I had no hesitation in coming back.

“It has been frustrating at Luton. I want to play football – that is what I am paid for.

“I have always followed Mansfield since I left and was very pleased for the club when they were taken over recently.

“I had five great years here. Promotion was unbelievable and it was a great feeling beating Carlisle on the last game of that season. One of the best feelings I have had in football.

“And leading out the side as captain at the Millennium Stadium for the play-off was one of the highlights of my career. Unfortunately we didn't get the result we wanted, but it wasn't for a lack of trying.

“I am looking forward to running back out at Field Mill on Saturday and I hope the fans will give me a warm reception.”

“It is unfortunate what has happened with Mihkel but I have had to move quickly,” said boss Holdsworth.

“It was important I brought in an experienced keeper. There are few better young keepers then Neil Collett but he is still learning his trade.

“Kevin brings that experience and knowledge. He is a League keeper in my eyes and he is able and mature.”

High-flying Crawley will provide a massive test for the Stags on Saturday.

“Steve Evans has put together a strong quad and this is a game my players should relish,” said Holdsworth.

“I am certainly looking forward to it. We have to roll our sleeves up and show desire, passion and grit. We know what Steve (Crawley boss Evans) brings and we must be ready.”

Although Pilkington has come in as emergency loan keeper, the BSBP will still only allow sides to field five loanee players in total.

With new signing Peter Vincenti still waiting to play his first game, Holdsworth must either stick with the 11 who kept a clean sheet at FC Halifax Town in last week's FA Cup win or bring in Vincenti and leave someone out.

Striker Keigan Parker rejoins the squad after a foot injury but has only trained a couple of times and is unlikely to make it any further than the substitute's bench.


video interview with David Holdsworth--->

VIDEO: Gaffer will relish big match
Thu 28 Oct 2010
Manager David Holdsworth says that he is 'relishing' doing battle with high-fliers Crawley Town here at Field Mill this weekend.

Saturday sees us entertain a Crawley side sitting in second place having suffered only one defeat on the road all season, an enviable record both the manager and players are looking forward to upsetting.

Speaking at today's press meeting, Holdsworth said: "It tells me that Steve Evans has got a side that is well-equipped both home and away. He's got a strong squad but likewise we will deal with that and it's a game that the players should relish. I'm relishing it.

"I've got great admiration for Crawley FC and their manager and obviously the way they are doing things. It's a tough game and we want to roll our sleeves up and have a fighting spirit.

"We got a good win last week and we want to build on that going into the next round of the FA Cup.

"The players will be going out there wanting to earn their shirt and secondly play against a side that are expected to win the league. There's no better yardstick. It's a yardstick for myself and it will give us an idea about where we want to be."

Long term injuries to both first choice 'keeper Alan Marriott and his replacement Mihkel Aksalu has seen the Gaffer forced to deep back into the loan market for extra cover between the sticks. Former Stag Kevin Pilkington is the man of the hour and could go straight in the side on Saturday.

"This has been thrown at me and circumstances have evolved that Mihkel (Aksalu) will be out for two to three weeks on the advice of Sheffield United," added Holdsworth.

"It's shame for him because he was looking forward to getting some games. The injury was sustained in training at Sheffield United, he played on Saturday but it got predominantly worse and so I found myself being without a 'keeper again.

"Kevin Pilkington brings in experience and knowledge. He is a Football League goalkeeper in my eyes and I'm delighted to have secured his services in the short term. He can only help young Neil's (Collett) role in training."

In other team news, Holdsworth is hopeful that Keigan Parker may have some involvement in the game after coming through training after having stitches in his ankle. Mark Preece will sit out though after undergoing an operation and will be sidelined for at least four weeks.


Crowd important for big home games – Stags boss Holdsworth
Evening Post
MANSFIELD Town's fans were today urged by boss David Holdsworth to throw their support behind the team ahead of back-to-to back home games against Crawley and Torquay.


The Stags first take on the Red Devils this afternoon, looking to end a spell of five Blue Square Premier games without a win and climb back towards the top five.

They then host the Gulls next weekend in an FA Cup first round proper tie that will give them an indication of the standard they should be striving to achieve week in, week out.

And manager David Holdsworth is asking the home faithful to do their part.

"Our fans were outstanding last Saturday at Halifax. They travelled up and really got behind the players," he said.

"It would be nice to see a similar thing at Field Mill. We know they (Mansfield fans) are the type of people that are vociferous and opinionated.

"When they get behind the team, they really are a 12th man. We have two great games coming up and it is the ideal time for them to raise their voices."

Holdsworth admits his Mansfield side are in for a tough time against the Red Devils, particularly at the back.

The visitors have an embarrassment of riches in attack where Matt Tubbs, Steve Brodie and Craig McAllister will vie to start up front.

He said: "Brodie and Tubbs are both great footballers and goalscorers but they have others as well, including McAllister, who I admire.

"Whatever team they pick will be very strong on paper, but games are not won on paper.

"We are the underdogs and the odds are against us, but we are at home and we believe we can upset them."



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