STAGS SIGN ZANDER DIAMOND
(Two year contract - see below)
Stags land Diamond signing
mansfieldtown.net, 12th May 2017
Mansfield Town have today continued their recruitment with the outstanding capture of former Northampton Town defender Zander Diamond.
After the Cobblers’ Player of the Year for the 2016/17 season turned down a new deal at Sixfields and multiple clubs from the EFL and Scottish Premier League, manager Steve Evans swooped to bring him to One Call Stadium, much to the disappointment of several bidders.
The 6ft 2in central defender began his career with Scottish side Aberdeen in 2003 and spent eight years at the Pittodrie Stadium.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/2016-17/stags-sign-league-two-promotion-winner-3714401.aspx#KxLmEhWut7CsEte7.99
The former Scotland under 21 international made over 200 appearances for The Dons before joining Oldham Athletic for a solitary season in 2011.
After the expiration of his contract at Boundary Park, Diamond signed for then-League Two club Burton Albion.
He was part of the Brewers side who finished in the League Two play-offs for two consecutive years.
Halfway through the 2013/14 campaign, the 32-year-old made the switch to Northampton after being headhunted by then-manager Chris Wilder and in turn helped them to preserve their EFL status.
The Cobblers then secured a mid-table finish in 2014/15, with Diamond a rock of the defence, before embarking on their memorable 2015/16 campaign.
Diamond played 39 times in the Cobblers’ League Two title-winning season as Chris Wilder’s men won the division by 13 points.
Last season, Northampton enjoyed a solid first season in the third tier of English football as they secured a 15th-placed finish.
The imposing central defender made 45 appearances in all competitions and was a stand-out performer for Justin Edinburgh’s side.
He was voted as the club’s Player of the Season at their Annual Awards Dinner but then decided on a new challenge.
Stags' manager Steve Evans said: "I was absolutely delighted to receive a call late last night from Zander Diamond to confirm that he wanted to be part of what we’re trying to build at the One Call Stadium.
"I became very aware, not only from the representatives of the lad, but from other managers who I speak to on a regular basis, that we were in a fight to secure the services of the big man and against a host of EFL clubs, mainly in League One, but in League Two and of course in the Scottish Premier League.
"Our supporters, of course, will know him. He is a dominant centre-back who is vociferous on the pitch, a leader of men. Not only is he Northampton Town’s current Player of the Year, but he is still highly ambitious and wants to be involved in another promotion campaign after his great success under my good friend Chris Wilder."
Diamond’s deal at One Call Stadium will run from 01 July and is subject to EFL ratification.
Stags PlayerHD subscribers can view Zander's first interview at the club.
Zander Diamond told Mark Stevenson on StagsPlayerHD:
Asked what can we expect from you:
"I'm a leader, I'm a talker, I like to organise well, I like to win my win personal battles against your strikers, and hopefully a number of things the fans will pick out over the next two years".
Evans delighted as Cobblers player of the year Zander Diamond signs for Mansfield Town
northamptonchron.co.uk, by JEREMY CASEY, Friday 12 May 2017
Cobblers player of the year Zander Diamond has signed for Sky Bet League Two side Mansfield Town. The Scotsman leaves Sixfields this summer after three-and-a-half years, with the club announcing last week that the player was departing. Zander Diamond is the reigning Cobblers player of the year
Boss Justin Edinburgh said: “Myself and Zander sat down before the end of the season, and there was talk of a new contract.
“It didn’t get to where either party wanted, and I think from Zander’s perspective, and from talking to him as well, I think he needs and wants a new challenge, a fresh challenge, and I understand that.”
Read more at: http://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/sport/football/evans-delighted-as-cobblers-player-of-the-year-zander-diamond-signs-for-mansfield-town-1-7959626
Well, that new challenge sees Diamond opt to drop down a division to play for Steve Evans’ side, with the Mansfield manager saying he fought off competion from a host of clubs in leagues one and two as well as the Scottish Premiership to get his man. Diamond will join up with fellow Cobblers league two title winners Joel Byrom and Alfie Potter at Field Mill, and Evans could not contain his delight when he discovered he had secured the signing of the 32-year-old.
“I was absolutely delighted to receive a call late on Thursday night from Zander Diamond to confirm that he wanted to be part of what we’re trying to build at the One Call Stadium,” said Evans.
“I became very aware, not only from the representatives of the lad, but from other managers who I speak to on a regular basis, that we were in a fight to secure the services of the big man and against a host of EFL clubs, mainly in league one, but in league two and of course in the Scottish Premiership.
“Our supporters, of course, will know him. He is a dominant centre-back who is vociferous on the pitch, a leader of men.
“Not only is he Northampton Town’s current player of the year, but he is still highly ambitious and wants to be involved in another promotion campaign after his great success under Chris Wilder.”
Mansfield just missed out on a play-off place in league two this season, finishing in 12th place but only four points off the top seven.
Ambitious defender still aiming for success
mansfieldtown.net, 12th May 2017
Stags’ newest signing Zander Diamond says he is still hungry for success after putting pen-to-paper at One Call Stadium earlier today.
The 32-year-old central defender has joined manager Steve Evans’ squad after leaving Northampton Town upon expiration of his contract at the end of the season.
And Diamond, who achieved success with the Cobblers by winning the League Two title in the 2015/16 season, is still more determined than ever to add further honours to his CV.
“You look at ambitious clubs up and down the country, then you speak to the manager up here and he outlined his ambition in what he wants to do and as soon as I heard that, it ticked all the right boxes for myself," Diamond said.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/2016-17/ambitious-defender-aiming-for-success-3714671.aspx#6uWYmSg1EV2JpxCQ.99
“I tasted success with Northampton in this division and hopefully I can do the same again with Mansfield.
“Why not feel optimistic? The chairman, I read, is backing the manager so why not feel optimistic that this season can be successful?”
The former Aberdeen man was voted as Northampton’s Player of the Year in the 2016/17 season and after meeting with gaffer Steve Evans about the possibility of joining the Stags, he was impressed with the direction the club is heading in.
“I spoke to him at great length and two or three others about the direction the football club wanted to go and what he wanted.
“Once I went away and I thought about that, I said I’d like to come and work under him. Lucky enough, the deal was done quite quickly from both parties and I’m delighted to be on board.
“Looking at them (Stags) in the league last season, they were unfortunate not to sneak into the play-offs but your general feel about the place, it’s one of optimism.
“I did speak to Alex [MacDonald] and I spoke to Joel [Byrom] and they outlined the infrastructure within the football club, what the demands are as a player and what the manager’s like. Everything all marries together as one and it was a perfect fit for me to come to this football club.”
Diamond was a key figure in the Cobblers' League Two title success in 2015/16 and he believes one of the key ingredients of successful sides is to make sure that everyone pulls in the same direction.
“As a standard defender, you like to win your battles, your own personal battles against the strikers and then affect other players. If everybody is ‘at their jobs', it makes everyone else’s jobs easier because you win football games by everyone doing their jobs at hand.
“We (Northampton Town) went on an incredible run to get in the position to lift the trophy but if you’ve got a kind of stubbornness and you know your roles within the team, everybody helps each other.
“We never knew when we were beaten and we kept going until the final whistle.”
To view Zander Diamond’s exclusive first club interview, login to Stags PlayerHD.
Zander Diamond: Mansfield Town sign ex-Northampton defender
Mansfield Town have signed experienced centre-back Zander Diamond.
The 32-year-old was released by League One side Northampton Town last week despite being named player of the year.
Diamond, who began his career with Aberdeen and has also played for Oldham and Burton, played 45 games for the Cobblers in 2016-17.
Stags manager Steve Evans said: "He is a dominant centre-back who is vociferous on the pitch and a leader of men. He is still highly ambitious."
The length of Diamond's contract has not been revealed.
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