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Archived News from July 2020

10th July 2020 19:07


Former Mansfield Town goalkeeper Bobby Olejnik has hung up his gloves.
By Stephen Thirkill, Wednesday, 8th July 2020

The Austrian, who was released by Stags at the end of the last campaign, made the announcement via Twitter and said he intended to concentrate on a career in business.

Olejnik, who joined Mansfield from Exeter City, made 41 appearances for the club over three seasons.

“The last three months have, for the first time ever, allowed me to really sit down and consider my future,” he said.


“Football has been an amazing experience and it has had a massive influence on my character and my life.

“I’ve exerienced some major highs as well as some major lows. I don’t think anybody ever wants to stop doing something they enjoy, but I’ve had to start thinking more long-term and what is best for me moving forward.

“With everything going on in the world I felt it was as good a time as ever to change careers and pursue another passion, technology.

“Anyone who knows me knows how much I love tech, so I am looking forward to seeing where this avenue willl take me.

“Finally all that is left to say is to say thankyou to all my coaches, physios, admin staff, team-mates and the fans, without whom I wouldn’t have had the experiences that I have had throughout my career.

“Good luck to everyone in the upcoming seasons and I hope football brings you as much joy as it has brought me.”

Olejnik came through the youth system as Rapid Vienna before he moved to join Aston Villa’s youth system in 2003.

He failed to make the grade and moved to Falkirk in 2007, where he spent four seasons before returning to England with Torquay United.

The shot-stopper also enjoyed spells at Peteborough, where he lifted the JPT Trophy in 2014 after beating Chesterfield, and loan spells with Scuthorpe and York.


interview with Bobby Olejnik, 09 July 2020


Q: During your time at Mansfield Town, you have been ruled out for the large part through injury. How difficult a time was that for you, and what did you learn during your time out injured?

A: That was a really difficult one, because I had been challenging with Conrad Logan before when Steve Evans was at the club, and then the opportunity came about with David Flitcroft to be the number one and I wanted to grasp that opportunity, and then so for that to happen, it is something no one was expecting as everything was going so well at the time. When everything is going well for the team, everything goes well, and you don’t see many clubs do well with a couple of long-term injuries. Unfortunately, that happened and so it was bitterly disappointing. That was the first time that I really felt we were going to get promoted, and everything was going so smoothly that it felt like it was going to be that season in which we would get promoted. If everything continued the way it was, with the points-per-game record and the amount of clean sheets, it felt so right. Therefore, to have the carpet pulled from under my feet was so frustrating. The other frustration was that I was coming into the last year of my contract, and again it comes down to a question of if the club get promoted, are you going to get offered a new contract. It was a learning curve in the sense that I have not been injured in my career before that, and three or so games through food poisoning is about the only games I have missed. I’ve been lucky in that I haven’t had any long-term injuries, and so it was a strange experience and a strange position to be in. As a player, you don’t think that you are going to get injured, and so for it to happen it was tough. We could sit and talk for ours on the things that I learnt during that. One of the key things is having the right support structure around you, and having a club with amazing owners. The owners at Mansfield Town are, as they just understood the situation and said that they would put me in the same situation the year after by giving me another year and allowing me to take the opportunity, and grateful to them for that, in being able to continue my rehab and take away the financial worry during that time.

Q: You recently announced your retirement to pursue further interests outside of football. How difficult, or easy, a decision was that to announce your retirement, and how excited are you for your new venture?

A: I think that, everything considered, given that what I’ve been able to think about things with what has gone on with Coronavirus and being furloughed and so on, it has allowed me to sit down and just take stock of everything, and see how I feel and where my mind is at. I wanted to pursue my passion. I think that if I woke up every day and couldn’t wait to get back to football, then the decision would have been different and more difficult. Because this time has allowed me to get up and sit in front of a computer for 6 to 8 hours and do what I enjoy and develop new skills, that is what was drawing me towards retiring from the game and starting my new venture. With the time off, I think it was the best thing to do. Also, I have always wanted to be in charge of my retirement, and I can see why players have mental health problems when they retire as football sometimes ends up retiring them. You feel a bit helpless, and that it is out of your control, and so with all things considered I felt it was the right thing to do.



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