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STAGS SIGN RHYS OATES FROM HARTLEPOOL
15th July 2021 19:40


Stags fight off competition for highly-rated forward
mansfieldtown.net, Thursday 8th July 2021

We are delighted to announce the signing of Hartlepool United forward Rhys Oates on a two-year deal.

Oates, who can play up front or out wide, fired in 18 goals last season as the Pools won promotion to Sky Bet League Two.

Starting his career as a youngster at Barnsley, the 26-year-old signed his first professional contract as a second-year scholar with the club, after winning the Academy Scholar of the Year award.

https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2021/july/stags-fight-off-competition-for-highly-rated-forward/

The forward appeared ten times for the Tykes, whilst also spending time on loan with Gainsborough, Stockport, Grimsby and Chester during his spell at Oakwell.

Oates moved permanently away from Barnsley in 2015, signing for Hartlepool United. He made over 100 appearances for the Pools over three seasons, before signing for Morecambe in 2018.

The former Barnsley man found the net six times in Morecambe colours before a return to Hartlepool last year, where he would finish as top scorer in a memorable season for the Pools.

The versatile forward fired in 18 goals, including three strikes over the course of the National League play-offs, leading him to be named as the club’s Players’ Player and Fans’ Player of the Year.

Oates joins the Stags on a free transfer following the expiration of his contract at Hartlepool.

Speaking after signing a two-year deal, Oates said: “I met the manager [Nigel Clough] and went to the training ground [The RH Academy] on Saturday.

“The way the gaffer spoke and where he thinks the club can go, along with the setup where I’ll be training week-in, week-out, I thought it was a perfect fit for me.

“It [The RH Academy] is a great setup, where I know as a team, we’ll get on together well.

“With any club you go to, you have to come in and prove yourself. I’ll work as hard as I can in pre-season.”

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Nigel Clough told Jake Garner of BBC Radio Nottingham, interview available on iFollow Stags, Thursday 15th July 2021:

On Rhys Oates:
Nigel Clough: "He turned down far better deals elsewhere. Two in the Conference, one of which was 40% higher than what we're paying him. He wanted to stay in the League, he wanted to come and have a go with us here."

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New forward impressed by Stags’ facilities
mansfieldtown.net

New signing Rhys Oates says the facilities on offer at The RH Academy - the club’s training ground - in addition to conversations with manager Nigel Clough, persuaded him to select Mansfield Town as his next club.

The Stags fought off competition from several other teams to capture the signing of the former Hartlepool frontman on a two-year deal.

The 26-year-old fired in 18 goals in 2020/21 as the Pools earned promotion to Sky Bet League Two.

Speaking in his first interview with iFollow Stags, Oates revealed that he was left impressed by Stags’ facilities, whilst also expressing his desire to ‘prove himself’ in north Nottinghamshire.

“I met the manager [Nigel Clough] and went to the training ground [The RH Academy] on Saturday,” he explained.

“The way the gaffer spoke and where he thinks the club can go, along with the setup where I’ll be training week-in, week-out, I thought it was a perfect fit for me.

https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2021/july/new-forward-impressed-by-stags-facilities/

“It [The RH Academy] is a great setup, where I know as a team, we’ll get on well. It’s just a good environment to be in.

“When you feel comfortable and it’s your own place, it helps with being together as a team, as there’s nothing to distract you from focusing on football.

“With any club you go to, you have to come in and prove yourself. We’ll be training together a lot and ultimately it’s down to the manager as to who he picks.

“I’ll work as hard as I can in pre-season and see what happens from there.”

Reflecting on a season to remember for Hartlepool United, Oates spoke of the individual achievements that saw him earn the Players’ Player and Fans’ Player of the Season awards.

“It was an unreal season [with Hartlepool]. It finished the best way it possibly could,” he added. “Once I got myself into the team, the goals started coming and we went on a great run.

“The lads all believed in me and we had a great squad who bonded well. They knew what sorts of runs I made, and that made it easier for me to score goals.

“I scored some good individual goals and that came through confidence. [I have] pace, power and can finish with both feet. I also chipped in a few with my head so I feel like I can score any type of goal.

“I’ve played out on the wing quite a lot, so I can play out wide if needs be as well.

“The Players’ Player [award], you train with them every day, and they see what work you put in.

“That’s an unbelievable achievement to get it from your players, but also the fans [award], who put a lot of effort in and pay a lot of money to watch.

“It was great to get the fans back in towards the end of the season.”

Oates believes that he is ready to play at Sky Bet League Two level, as he did so with Morecambe from 2018 to 2020.

“Physicality-wise, it’s very similar. The teams are all at a similar level, though [in Sky Bet League Two].

“In the National League, you have a few teams where you might be confident to beat them, but I think it’s more technical at this level.

“But I’m confident I can play at this level as I’ve done it quite a lot in the past.

“I’ve not really thought of any targets [for this season], but I will be setting myself individual targets from the start.

“As the season goes on, they may change, but I will be setting myself targets.”

iFollow Stags subscribers can watch Rhys’ first interview with the club by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow.

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Dave Challinor says he had no knowledge of Oates departure
thenorthernecho.co.uk, By Matty Jones

HARTLEPOOL manager Dave Challinor has released a scathing statement regarding Rhys Oates' recent departure from the club.

The 26-year-old forward sealed a move to League Two Mansfield yesterday and signed a two-year deal.

Oates was offered fresh terms by Pools after the expiration of his one-year contract at Victoria Park but has elected for a move to Field Mill.

While the forward is free to speak to other clubs after his contract came to an end, it sounds like the Pools manager, nor anyone else at the club, had no knowledge of Oates' decision to move on.

Challinor told the club website: "Unfortunately, Rhys will be moving on to pastures new. He was offered a very very good deal by the club but he wasn’t willing to back himself and has decided his future lies elsewhere.

https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/sport/19430798.dave-challinor-says-no-knowledge-oates-departure/

"Everyone has decisions to make that suit themselves and their circumstances which we all completely understand.

"The only slight disappointment from our side of things is the fact Rhys has had no communication with any staff to let us know his thoughts and decision and that leaves a bit of a sour taste.

"We’ve had other players move on who have done so in what I would say is the right way."

It's an unfortunate way to end his stint with the club having won the Players Player of the Year and Supporters Player of the Year last season and scored 17 goals to help Pools achieve promotion back to the Football League.

While the club are naturally diasppointed by the news, the forward did take to his social media accounts to pay tribute to the club.

Rhys Oates posted on his Twitter account to say: “I would like to thank everyone involved at the club from the manager and the staff who gave me the opportunity this season and to all the players who have been first class from day one.

“To come back to this club and help get it back to where it belongs meant so much to me and I’m so happy I could be a part of that.

“To win the Players Player and Fans Player of the Year is such an honour but by far the best one is that play-off medal which we all earned and deserved through the full year.

“Finally I would like to thank the fans for having belief in me that I could come back to the club and be a better player and create the memories that will stay with us all forever. It’s been amazing.

“Once a Poolie...”

Team mates and members of the club were among those to pay tribute to Oates following his move away but it seems like the way in which the move was orchestrated may well have burned some bridges.

Naturally there was a string of clubs that were interested in sealing a deal for last season's top scorer.

David Sharpe, CEO of Mansfield said: "Another one done!! Had stiff competition for his signature, delighted Rhys has chosen to join us! Welcome on board Rhys Oates."

It now leaves Dave Challinor with more holes to fill in his squad with the League Two season starting in less than a month. Pools are currently without a striker in their senior squad after Oates' departure.

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Comment: Rhys Oates' move to Mansfield Town has 'left a sour taste' but Hartlepool United must move on
hartlepoolmail.co.uk, By Dominic Scurr

Rhys Oates’ move to Mansfield Town has left a ‘sour taste,’ but it’s a brutal reminder of what Hartlepool United are up against this season.

Following Luke Armstrong signing for Harrogate Town and now Oates’ departure, Pools have lost two strikers and 32 goals from their National League promotion winning side.

Perhaps the most disappointing part is they haven’t lost them to big clubs but rather mid-table League Two rivals who seem more than capable of financially outgunning Pools, who are already playing catch-up.

Pools had offered Oates a good deal which Challinor was clearly hopeful the player would sign. But football is rarely straightforward and when Mansfield teased a picture of porridge oats on top of their home shirt, the panic soon set in.

It was a move the club knew nothing about which prompted Dave Challinor to make a damning statement once it was confirmed.

"The only slight disappointment from our side of things is the fact Rhys has had no communication with any staff to let us know his thoughts and decision and that leaves a bit of a sour taste,” he told the club website.

https://www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk/sport/football/comment-rhys-oates-move-to-mansfield-town-has-left-a-sour-taste-but-hartlepool-united-must-move-on-3301931

Oates had a ‘very, very good offer’ on the table according to the Pools boss but ‘wasn’t willing to back himself,’ suggesting that some potentially lucrative performance related bonuses were included.

Pools and Challinor helped Oates put himself back on the map in footballing terms. The player smashed his career best scoring record of seven with an impressive 17 goal haul, including three in the play-offs to help the club earn promotion.

In that regard, both the club and manager are due more respect and deserved to be informed of the move beforehand - though the player has no obligation to do that.

It’s not a good look and doesn’t paint Oates in the best light. A statement calling him out certainly didn't help the matter.

It’s easy to be romantic about players and their loyalty to football clubs, but money talks.

After being the key driving force behind Pools’ promotion and completing an end of season awards clean sweep, Oates didn’t owe the club anything, other than maybe a phone call.

He’s a 26-year-old trying to make a career for himself at a level where as little as £200 a week can make a huge difference. It’s a short career on modest wages at this level so players will always act in their best interests and not the best interests of the club.

The grass isn’t always greener and Challinor was a manager capable of bringing the best out of Oates. It will be intriguing to see how he manages back in League Two at a new club.

Pools’ understandable reluctance to hand out longer-term deals last season has ultimately come back to haunt them in this instance. Hopefully it’s for the last time.

Oates’ departure is disappointing and some won’t be able to forgive this so-called ‘betrayal’. But his performances finally got the club back to the Football League and that’s what he should be remembered for, even if it is through gritted teeth.

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Rhys Oates reveals reason behind Mansfield Town switch as attacker signs two-year deal and leaves Hartlepool United
Mansfield Town have announced the signing of Rhys Oates
By James Copley, Thursday 8th July 2021
https://www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk/sport/football/rhys-oates-reveals-reason-behind-mansfield-town-switch-as-attacker-signs-two-year-deal-and-leaves-hartlepool-united-3301591

The attacker played a vital part in Pools’ season and netted the winner as Dave Challinor’s men secured their place in the National League play-off final with a 1-0 victory over Stockport.

Oates, who scored 18 goals over the course of the season, also started the game against Torquay United at Ashton Gate as Hartlepool secured their return to League Two on penalties.

The player was also named the club’s Players’ Player and Fans’ Player of the Year after a memorable season at The Vic.

But the 26-year-old will play his football with Hartelpool’s fourth-tier rivals after the club teased the signing before announcing it on social media shortly afterward.

The former Barnsley youth teamer has now signed a two-year deal with the Stags after his contract in the North East expired which left him free to move for nothing.

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Hartlepool top scorer joins Mansfield Town on permanent deal
By Matty Jones
https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/sport/19430217.hartlepool-top-scorer-joins-mansfield-town-permanent-deal/

HARTLEPOOL United have been dealt a blow with the news that last season's top scorer Rhys Oates has declined a contract offer to join League Two Mansfield Town.

Oates, 26, finished the campaign on 17 goals and was voted Players Player of the Year and Supporters Player of the Year at Pools.

The forward was instrumental in the second half of last season in a run of games which saw Oates net 13 times in 17 games to help fire Pools to the Football League via the National League play-offs.

Oates' contract came to an end in July and was offered fresh terms by Pools after signing a one-year deal last summer.

The club were hopeful of keeping hold of their star man from last season but it looks like Pools have once again been priced out by a league rival as he signs for Mansfield on a two-year deal.

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RHYS OATES DEPARTS
https://www.hartlepoolunited.co.uk/rhys-oates-departs/

It has now been confirmed that Rhys Oates has joined Mansfield Town after rejecting a new deal at the club.

Rhys played a huge part in our 2020/21 promotion-winning side with 17 goals including the winner against Stockport County in our play-off semi-final.

This was Oates’ second spell at the club having previously made 99 appearances between 2015-2018. The forward then spent two seasons with Morecambe before re-signing for Dave Challinor’s side.

We spoke to Dave Challinor regarding Rhys Oates’ departure:

"Unfortunately, Rhys will be moving on to pastures new. He was offered a very very good deal by the club but he wasn’t willing to back himself and has decided his future lies elsewhere."

"Everyone has decisions to make that suit themselves and their circumstances which we all completely understand. The only slight disappointment from our side of things is the fact Rhys has had no communication with any staff to let us know his thoughts and decision and that leaves a bit of a sour taste. We’ve had other players move on who have done so in what I would say is the right way."

Everyone at the club would like to thank Rhys for all his efforts during his time at Hartlepool United.

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twitter

John Radford @JRadfordMTFC
Delighted to welcome forward Rhys Oates to the club, who enjoyed an excellent season with Hartlepool United last term. COYS!

David Sharpe @DavidSharpe91
Another one done!! Had stiff competition for his signature, delighted Rhys has chosen to join us! Welcome on board @OatesRhys !! #Stags

Martin Shaw @shawma1
I knew watching all the National League play-off matches would come in useful!
He was absolutely superb in the play-offs. The stand-out player of all the matches.

Jeff Stelling @JeffStelling
Been a great summer until now for Poolies. Good luck to @OatesRhys at Mansfield but it is a hammer blow for us. Gutted
As I said gutted over @OatesRhys departure. But to those having a go at him remember we would not be back in the EFL without him. A footballers career is a short one and at this level not specially financially rewarding. Sometimes you have to whatever to secure your future

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