JORDAN GRAHAM AND ALISTAIR SMITH PEN NEW CONTRACTS
Young striker signs new deal
mansfieldtown.net, 21 January 2019
We are delighted to announce that striker Jordan Graham has signed a new 18-month contract with the club.
Towards the end of last season, the 21-year-old was elevated to the first team by manager David Flitcroft, and made his professional bow on the opening day of this season, coming off the bench in the 3-0 win over Newport County.
The forward has featured regularly in the first team’s matchday squad this term, and is a consistent performer for our reserves’ side.
Graham was promoted to the first team after impressing the academy coaches and David Flitcroft during his time with our under-21s.
The manager told http://www.mansfieldtown.net: “Jordan found it really difficult initially to get his head around doing certain sessions and the off-season programme, but [since then] he's really committed to all of the fitness work and to games.
“I‘ve seen a real change in attitude from him over six months and he wants to work as hard as anyone.
“He’s a good finisher who enjoys his work on the training ground and that’s left a big impression on me and the staff.
“He’s a player who we want to keep progressing and who we want to see as a part of the first team squad.
"This [new] deal is credit to the work put into him by John Dempster (academy manager), Richard Cooper (senior professional development coach) and Mike Whitlow (U21s' coach).
“They’ve implemented a strategy to get him ready to train with our first team.
“I don’t think twice about putting Jordan on the field and he should now go from strength to strength.”
Academy graduate pens new deal
mansfieldtown.net, 21 January 2019
We are delighted to announce that academy graduate Alistair Smith has signed a new 18-month deal with the club.
Following his schooling at our acclaimed academy, the midfielder was first selected for the first team matchday squad in our away clash against Cheltenham earlier this season.
The skilful midfielder enjoyed a brilliant tenure with our under-18s - winning back-to-back EFL Youth Alliance titles under academy manager John Dempster - and was a regular starter on loan for Loughborough Dynamo last season.
The 19-year-old enjoyed a loan spell with Frickley Athletic earlier this season and after his recall, made his first team debut in November in our 3-2 victory over Scunthorpe United in the Checkatrade Trophy.
Earlier this term, Smith received a call-up to England’s senior Futsal squad, having previously appeared for England’s under-23 side in the sport.
“The credit for Alistair’s progression goes to the academy staff, with the relationship they have with him and the trust he has in them," said Stags' manager David Flitcroft.
“Alistair is of a good size and has improved in his work out of possession following his loan spells in non-league.
“He has improved technically with the work he’s done with England Futsal, so the combined plan of his development, along with him training with the first team on a regular basis, has given him a foundation to train and be accepted within our first team environment.
“As we progress, we’ll look to develop him into a central midfielder who can play games for the club. Like with all players, we have to make sure that we put them in [the first team] at the right time and that’s down to us to monitor that."
The news follows the club's earlier communication of 21-year-old striker Jordan Graham also penning a new 18 month contract.
“We’re trying to build a young enthusiastic squad going forward and both Jordan and Alistair fit in with that strategy," said the manager.
“With Greg [Abbott, head of football operations] in situ, he has ensured that we have got these new deals over the line.”
mansfieldtown.net, Tuesday 22 January 2019
Assistant manager Ben Futcher ...
Yesterday, we were delighted to announce that the duo of Jordan Graham and Alistair Smith have both penned new 18-month deals with the club.
Futcher credited the work of the Mansfield academy as the reason for the pair’s success.
“With the two young lads [Jordan Graham and Alistair Smith] signing new contracts, it’s brilliant for the club and the whole town.
“It shows the work that the academy has been doing behind the scenes, which maybe hasn’t had the recognition.
“Jordan Graham has really got his head down and got himself fit. The first team lads love him and he has a big future in the game if he keeps working hard.
“The young lads know they’re going to get a chance with the first team if they’re doing well. The rewards are there for them.
“Alistair [recently] went out on loan [to Frickley] and did really well. He’s really developed and done well when he’s been with the first team.
“The academy staff have put a lot of work into these boys, so it’s a reward for them as well. Hopefully we can keep bringing them [young players] through, so we’ll have some homegrown players for years to come in the Mansfield first team.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch Ben Futcher’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
Latest | January 2019