STAGS SIGN KEEPER JORDAN SMITH ON LOAN
Stags sign highly-rated Reds’ ‘keeper
mansfieldtown.net, Thu 10 Jan 2019
We are delighted to confirm the loan signing of Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Jordan Smith until the end of the season.
Smith, 24, made 32 appearances for the Reds last season, most of which came in the Championship.
The ‘keeper is a product of Forest’s academy, and made his professional debut in February 2017 in a Championship clash against Norwich City, coming off the bench after 23 minutes to replace the injured Stephen Henderson.
Two weeks later, Smith kept his first clean sheet in Forest colours, in a 0-0 draw away to Wigan Athletic. The following week, he recorded a second consecutive clean sheet, as the Reds earned a 3-0 win over Brighton.
The shot-stopper has also spent time on loan at the likes of Barnsley, Ilkeston and Nuneaton Town in his career.
Smith last appeared during his loan spell at Barnsley in November 2018, keeping a clean sheet away to Accrington Stanley in a 2-0 win.
“I am really excited about this loan move,” said Jordan. “I’m a local boy and it’s a club that I’ve always kept my eye on.
“It’s a club on the up. Mansfield love to play football and it’s something that’s become of massive importance in recent years for a goalkeeper to become that 11th player by using their feet.
“I’ve come here to improve and I believe this is a place where I can do that.
“I’m aware that there is a fight on my hands to get the [starting] shirt as I know Conrad has done really well. I’d like to think I’ve got a great chance in training and throughout the rest of the season to prove why I should be playing and if and when I do, to prove why I should keep that shirt.”
Manager David Flitcroft said: “With the relationship the chairman and Carolyn [chief executive Carolyn Radford] have with Nottingham Forest, we’ve tapped in to that relationship again and that was important to this signing.
“Greg’s [head of football operations Greg Abbott] contacts too have played a massive part. Tyler [striker Tyler Walker, on loan from Nottingham Forest] has played a part in selling the qualities of our club and the young environment here, where there’s a lot of enthusiasm to get better.
“This season, Jordan was called upon to play for Barnsley for one game and got a clean sheet in a new environment.
“Jordan suits our playing style. His experience in the Championship is crucial, playing against some massive clubs.”
New signing expresses 'sheer excitement' after joining the Stags
New goalkeeper Jordan Smith says he views his loan at Mansfield Town with 'sheer excitement,' and as an opportunity to display his 'high' standards.
Smith, 24, joined the Stags on a season-long loan from Nottingham Forest yesterday afternoon.
The 'keeper says that he has come to Mansfield to prove himself, yet understands he will have to 'fight' for his place in the side.
"I've come [to Mansfield] to improve," he said. "I believe that this is a place where I can improve because there are very high standards.
"It's a place where I can show that I have high standards and prove my standards. That will hopefully push me to the places that I want to go to in my career.
"I've come here for game time but I'm very respectful of the goalkeepers that are here currently.
"I know that Conrad Logan has played the last couple of games, and I've read reports and seen that he's done very well.
"I'm absolutely sure that there is a fight on my hands, and it's not a given that I will get the shirt. But, I would like to think that I have a great chance to prove in training and throughout the rest of the season why I should be playing.
"Then, if and when I do play, I will prove week-in, week-out why I should keep that shirt.
"[I view this challenge] with sheer excitement. I'm a local boy, I come from round here and live in Kirkby-in-Ashfield. This is a club I have always kept my eye on, and it's really exciting now that it's a place that's on the up.
"You only have to look at the table and the people who are on board here to see where this club is going, and it's something I just really want to be a part of."
The new Mansfield 'keeper says that he looks forward to playing in David Flitcroft's system, adding that playing out from the back is a 'strong area' of his game.
"I like to think I'm a really good shot-stopper," he replied, when asked about his strengths. "I like to think I've made a few saves throughout my career that have turned a few people's heads, so to speak.
"I have good reflexes and agility; one commentator said I was made of elastic when I was at Barnsley, which I think is a compliment!
"I'm looking to add in other areas as well that you need to be a top level goalkeeper, which is what I'm aspiring to be.
"Mansfield love to play football [under David Flitcroft], and that's become massively important for goalkeepers in recent years, that we have to become that 11th player and use our feet.
"That's something that I look forward to doing, and is something I've been asked to do earlier on in my career. I like to think that's a strong area of my game."
The 24-year-old joins Nottingham Forest loanee Tyler Walker at Mansfield - a player he knows well - having both graduated from the Reds' academy.
Smith says that Walker being with the Stags was a 'massive' influence on his decision to join the club.
"This season has been a bit of a mixed bag really as I've not played much at Nottingham Forest," Smith explained.
"Fortunately, I got the chance to go and get a game at Barnsley, which happened to be just one game that went perfectly.
"It's been a mixed bag but there's not been as many football games as I'd have liked, which is why I'm really excited to be here to hopefully put myself forward to the manager.
"I kind of played a full season spread over two different seasons. Getting so many games under my belt consecutively in the Championship [last season] was great for me.
"Unfortunately, after coming out of the team, I've not had the playing time that I would've liked, which is why I'm really excited to be here.
"I've been at Nottingham Forest's academy since I was seven and I know that Tyler Walker was [there from a] very similar [age]. We always got on very well coming up through the academy.
"That was a massive pro for me to come here because I have the chance to work with him again. I know his quality, and the best bit now is he's going out and proving his quality.
"His statistics speak for themselves. I'm really looking forward to working with him again. We have spoken very briefly through players who are still at Forest, and he was a massive factor in me coming here, that's for sure."
Over his relatively short career, Smith has made appearances in the Championship, League One and non-league, but never League Two.
The goalkeeper says that he expects a tough challenge in Sky Bet League Two, but has his sights firmly set on limiting teams to few chances and recording clean sheets.
"I've not played League Two football yet. I've managed Championship and League One, and then non-league before that.
"I've always kept my eye on this club which has been in League Two for a while, but it [League Two] is something that we are trying to get out of in the right way.
"It's going to be physical. There will be contact and balls played into the box that I'm expected to come and deal with.
"The other side of it is that I have to be very vocal. I have to be very organised and disciplined in myself, and make sure that the team in front of me is organised and disciplined as well.
"We want to limit teams to very few chances and hopefully that will lead to clean sheets, which leads to points on the board."
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch our new goalkeeper's interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
First news of the signing:
Jordan Smith was on emergency loan at Barnsley. Players are only allowed to play for 2 clubs in one season, but emergency loans are exempt from that.
He is therefore eligible to play for Mansfield, having played for Nottm Forest against Bury in the EFL Cup (he was sent off after 33 minutes), and for Barnsley against Accrington.