DEMPSTER ON YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
Youth development a key focus for progressive Stags
mansfieldtown.net, 10th April 2015
Youth coach John Dempster believes that future looks bright under a 'new school' philosophy.
Youth coach John Dempster is confident with the progression of the club under the philosophy of manager Adam Murray.
After sustaining a long-term groin injury earlier this season, Dempster has been concentrating on a new role within the first team and as a member of the coaching set-up for the youth team.
He said: “During my rehab I've been helping out with first team matters and helping out with the youth team as well. It has been an interesting period, but an enjoyable one. It (coaching) has been something that has interested me from a young age, which is quite surprising to some people.
“I think I'm making the transition from playing to coaching if I’m honest. If there was an injury crisis I would be available to slot in, but I’m certainly planning for the long-term.
“I’ve got a wealth of experience at this level of football so at this moment in time I’m juggling a few things but enjoying it."
Despite the need for the first team to ensure survival in Sky Bet League Two this season, Dempster believes the club is in a good position to look ahead to the future: "The mood in the camp is good. We’re very much focussed on what is required and the main target is survival and that hasn’t changed for a number of months now.
"It is great to say that Mansfield Town are moving with the times with the new manager who has brought in different ideas and it's brilliant to be a part of it."
Youth development is one area in particular that Dempster is looking forward to constantly developing: “The new manager highlighted a number of areas that he wanted to improve on and the youth team set-up was one of them. I’ve always had an interest in the youth side of things and I’ve always kept my finger on the pulse.
"We have had a success of young players coming into the first team and what we’re trying to do is improve the whole set-up to bring a few more through and increase the quality of player that comes through.”
He continued: “We've got a few things that we’re working on and it could really be a positive future for the football club with the plans we have in place.
"You should be looking to bring young players through. The facilities that we will have access to next season will allow us to coach local young players and hand pick players from across the country. It is great to have that tool and it will benefit us in the long term."
Dempster was also pleased with the recent return of Steve Hymas to the club as a director and highlighted the important role that he will play in youth development in the future.
He added: “Steve is going to be at the top of the tree and will be someone for the coaches to tap into and support us. It's good to have that support as it will be a challenge, but it is one we’re all looking forward to.
“If you’ve got someone that has got the club’s interests at heart, I don’t think you can go wrong,” he concluded.
Fledgling coach Dempster delighted with news Stags regime
by John Lomas, Friday 10 April 2015
As he takes the first steps on his fledgling coaching career, Mansfield Town defender John Dempster paid tribute to boss Adam Murray and the new direction the club is heading in.
Paul Cox was still the manager, employing a direct, physical style, when Dempster (32) suffered a groin injury that needed surgery early in the season.
We are lucky to have Adam Murray in charge of this football club
While he has been recovering, Murray has taken over as manager, tried to change many things at the club including the style of play, and Dempster has been allowed to step onto the first rung of the coaching ladder with the youth team.
“The old regime was successful but it would be fair to say it was old school,” said Dempster “The club is now moving to the new school. Football is an evolving business and it’s important to move with the times.
“It’s great to see Mansfield Town moving with the times, and with the new manager they have a different philosophy and different ideas. It’s been brilliant for me to jump on board and be part of it.
“Being completely honest, everything has been flipped on its head. That’s no disrespect to the previous regime as it was a successful one. This is now a work in progress and a new project that will take time.
“From my experience as a player with the coaches and managers I have worked for, we are lucky to have Adam Murray in charge of this football club. He is highly thought of within the football business and he is going places.
“Hopefully that will work hand in hand with the manager progressing and taking the football club with him.”
Dempster is now back up for selection if needed, but he is enjoying the youth coaching and said it had long been an ambition of his to get into that side of the game.
“I won’t say I feel fit as I have been out for the majority of the season, doing a lot of rehab from my operation which seem to have healed up well,” he said.
“During that time I have been helping out on first team matters and with the youth team as well.
“It has been an interesting period and an enjoyable one. I had a bilateral repair on my groin, which is both sides. It was painful and just down to general wear and tear over the years.
“It has been a frustrating season from that point of view as I have been fortunate with injuries and never had a long term one before. This is the longest I have been out. So it’s good to be on the mend.”
He added: “Coaching is something that has interested me even from a young age which may seem quite strange to some people. A lot of people just focus on their playing careers.
“I am especially interested in the youth side and developing players. That’s why I have been doing my coaching badges so if the opportunity did arise I’d to be able to take it.
“I have my UEFA B licence and start my A in the summer. With the first team it’s all about the results. But with the youth team, even if you win your league, if you don’t bring players through it can be seen as an unsuccessful season.”
He added: “With the first team I have been in the dressing room as a positive influence in and around the players as I have a wealth of experience at this level.
“We have to focus on what is required and our main target is survival. That has not changed for a number of months now.
“So I’ve been juggling a few things and I have enjoyed it.”
The return of Steve Hymas as director will see an even greater focus on youth at the club next season.
After several wilderness years, Stags have finally started to unearth local talent again with the likes of Jack Thomas, Liam Marsden, Joe Fitzpatrick and Dan Fletcher coming through.
A new-look youth set up, with the U18s coming under the auspices of the FA’s acclaimed Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP) system, could unearth even more gems in the coming seasons with Dempster hoping to be in the vanguard of that.
“One of the main areas we are looking to improve is the youth set up,” said Dempster.
“We want to maybe bring a few more through and even increase the quality of players coming through, though it will take time.
“Steve Hymas will be at the top of the tree. He is someone for the club to tap into if something is needed, whether that’s advice or a new bag of balls. He will be there to support us along with Mark Hawkins. It’s good to have someone with the club’s interests at heart - you can’t really go wrong.
“It is good to have that support and I am sure we will need it in the coming years. It’s a big challenge and something I am looking forward to.”
But, although at the tail end of his playing career, Dempster is not ready to fully hang his boots up as yet.
“I may make a cameo appearance in the first team once we are safe, or if there was an injury crisis I would be available to slot in hopefully,” he said. “But I do hope to get another playing contract next season.”
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