STAGS SIGN NEAL BISHOP
Stags capture experienced midfielder
mansfieldtown.net, 6 June 2018
Mansfield Town are delighted to announce the signing of vastly-experienced midfielder Neal Bishop - a mainstay in the midfield of League One Scunthorpe United last season .
Bishop is Stags’ boss David Flitcroft’s second summer signing following the acquisition of highly-rated centre-back Matt Preston.
Hardened midfielder Bishop played a key role in a fruitful campaign for Scunthorpe last term, making 37 appearances for a side that finished fifth in the League One table.
Bishop began his career in the Middlesbrough youth system, before moving on to play for a handful of non-league clubs such as York City, where he earned the ‘Clubman of the Year’ award at the close of the 2006-07 season.
Following his spell with York, the 36-year-old made the switch to League Two side Barnet to fulfil his ambition to play in the Football League, going on to make 92 appearances in two seasons.
Bishop agreed to join Notts County in 2009, where he would go on to make 186 appearances, and was instrumental in the side during their 2009-10 League Two title-winning campaign. The following term, Bishop was to be named not only the club captain, but the County Player of the Season.
The midfielder was signed by Championship outfit Blackpool in 2013, before making the switch to League One Scunthorpe a year later, since making 160 appearances for The Iron.
Read more at https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2018/june/stags-capture-experienced-midfielder/
After revealing he had rejected offers from other clubs to join the Stags, Bishop said: “The manager had a good conversation with me and made me feel very wanted.
“He talked about his plans from how he wants to play and how he wants the squad to kick-on following last season.
“He has a really good reputation and I can’t wait to get working with him and his staff.
He added: “I can promise I will be giving everything here; in training and matches. This challenge excites me as there’s a really positive vibe around this place.”
Manager David Flitcroft told http://www.mansfieldtown.net: “I’m delighted with the signing of Neal Bishop. He is a player I have admired over a number of years and as you can imagine we’ve had to work very hard to secure his signature. He had interest from a number of League One and League Two clubs.
“He has been a vital part of the Scunthorpe United team that made the League One play-offs in the last two seasons. He has won the League Two title in the past and understands what is needed to be successful in League Two.
“Neal brings a winning mentality and is a real leader on and off the pitch.
“When you look at the promoted teams last season, they all had an experienced midfield player who could manage games and I believe we needed an experienced defensive midfielder who can organise the team on the pitch and manage key moments in the big games.
“He is a real competitor but has the quality to play and pass from central areas.
“He is a fantastic professional and his professionalism will have a big impact on the squad, especially the younger players.
“I am delighted to have him on board for the coming season.”
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‘Stags are a club on the up,’ says new signing
New signing Neal Bishop says the owners’ ambition and the manager’s magnetism were the major reasons he signed for the Stags.
The midfielder, who becomes manager David Flitcroft’s second summer signing following the acquisition of defender Matt Preston, has revealed that dialogues with chairman John Radford, CEO Carolyn Radford and the Stags’ boss made him feel ‘wanted,’ and says that he is joining a ‘club on the up’ in Mansfield Town.
“The manager had a good conversation with me and made me feel very wanted,” he said. “[He told me] his plans of how he wants to play, and how he wants to kick on from the disappointment of last season.
“The ambition of the owners made my mind up for me in the end. I’m delighted to sign and I’m glad it’s all been sorted. I can’t wait to get started.
“They [John and Carolyn Radford] are full of enthusiasm, they’re doing things the right way. They back the manager fully and I’m delighted to be here.
“I’ve been very fortunate in my time at Scunthorpe being high up in League One, trying to get into the Championship. But I wanted a fresh challenge and I think I’m ready for one.
“This [signing for Mansfield] is a great challenge. It’s a club on the up and it’s a club that’s looking to kick on. I just want to come here and help them do that.
“I have had other offers, and this one stood out. After a chat with the manager, it was fairly easy for me to make my decision.
“The manager has come in and has all of the summer to put his ideas across and implement his plans. It’s something I want to be a part of.
“There’s a positive vibe around this place and I haven’t come to mess around. We want to kick on and do something special next season.
“A fresh challenge really excites me. You want to go somewhere you feel you have a real chance of achieving something and I feel like this is a great fit for me.
“I’ve won one title and promotion, but that’s not enough for me. I’m highly ambitious. The last two seasons at Scunthorpe we’ve been beaten twice by the team who has eventually gone up in the play-offs and that’s disappointing. I have to use that disappointment to fire me [up] and go again.”
The 36-year-old has already experienced promotion from Sky Bet League Two first-hand with Notts County, and believes that the Stags have the infrastructure capable of a promotion charge in the upcoming campaign.
“I can promise everyone that as long as I am here, I will give it my everything. I’d like to think that anyone that has known me at Scunthorpe over the past few years will say that [I give everything],” he added.
“It [success in League Two] takes a lot of effort from the club, the supporters, chairman and staff who all need to be on the same page and pull in the right direction.
“It can be a very long season. Mentally you need to see the long term goal. There’s no switching off. Any team can beat any team and it’s a long battle.
“If you can keep your eye on that prize then you can achieve something special, and that’s what we all want to do here.
“If you look at my playing record I’ve never played less than 35 games in a season for the past 15 years, so touch wood, I’ve been injury free and I feel really good.
“That’s where this club wants to be, we want promotion and I don’t think we should hide away from that. We have to go out every Saturday or Tuesday and prove we are the team capable of getting promotion.”
Bishop also believes he can add to the team off the pitch with his experience, and hopes that the Stags’ supporters can relate with the passion he plans to show in amber and blue.
“We have some really good pros here. I’m not going to come in and start telling people what to do but I always felt that I learned from the older pros.
“If people can look at me and learn something I’m adding to the club in that way as well.
“I want to get promoted. I want to score as many goals, get as many assists, make as many tackles. I want to play every game no matter what competition it’s in. That’s always been the way for me and it’s the only way I’ve ever known.
“At the end of the day we’re all supporters and I’m really privileged to be able to play professionally. Hopefully the supporters see a bit of themselves in me.”
iFollow Stags subscribers will soon be able to watch Neal’s answers in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow.
John Radford @JRadfordMTFC
A really solid signing in my opinion... experienced, a leader and a good guy.
Delighted to have him with us for next season.
Welcome @NealBish .
Neal Bishop @NealBish
Massive thanks for help sorting this, think I’ve spoke to @LeePhilpott11 more than my wife in the last few days
LPM agents @LPM_agents
Congratulations @nealbish on the move to @mansfieldtownfc still going strong #stags