STAGS SIGN KEEPER SCOTT FLINDERS
Mansfield Town land new goalkeeper
mansfieldtown.net, Mon 6 June 2022
Mansfield Town are delighted to announce the signing of experienced goalkeeper Scott Flinders.
The former Cheltenham Town shot stopper has signed an initial one-year deal at One Call Stadium and becomes the Stags’ first signing since the conclusion of the 2021-22 season.
Flinders began his career at Barnsley, making his debut in 2005 and in the same year made five appearances for England Under-20s.
The 35-year-old moved to Crystal Palace in 2006 and then enjoyed loan spells at Gillingham, Brighton, Yeovil, Blackpool and Falkirk before making a permanent switch to Hartlepool United in 2009.
Flinders went on to make 252 appearances for The Pools and became the club’s first ever goalkeeper to score a goal from open play with a header against Bournemouth.
In 2012-13, he won three player of the season awards for the County Durham club.
The Rotherham-born ‘keeper then joined York City and then Macclesfield Town, before signing for Cheltenham Town in August 2017. He was a part of the squad which won promotion to League One last year.
“We’re pleased to secure Scott’s signing,” said manager Nigel Clough.
“He played 18 games for Cheltenham last season in League One so hasn’t come here to just sit around.
“He’s been a very good goalkeeper over the years and has come here to compete for the first choice goalkeeping spot.”
Delighted Flinders hoping to make ‘special memories’ at new club
Mansfield Town’s first addition of the summer transfer window, Scott Flinders, says he is ‘looking forward to some more special memories’ ahead of the 2022/23 campaign.
The 35-year-old goalkeeper joined the club on an initial one-year deal yesterday.
Flinders made 23 appearances for League One side Cheltenham last season.
Speaking to the club after putting pen to paper at One Call Stadium, the experienced shot-stopper said: “Whenever I’ve played here [at One Call Stadium] before, the atmosphere has been absolutely brilliant.
“Hopefully we can create many more Saturday afternoon and Tuesday night games like that because I know they’re [the Stags’ faithful] passionate here.
“I’ve seen it on the tele [the impact of the Mansfield supporters], at Wembley especially, the amount of fans that travelled down [was superb].
“I’m really looking forward to some more special memories.
“I’m absolutely delighted.
“It’s always a club, whenever I have played against [them], that has been hard to play.
“[I’m] Absolutely delighted to get it over the line and I’m looking forward to getting started now.”
After the club narrowly missed out on promotion to Sky Bet League One in the Play-Off Final last month, Flinders says he hopes the club can go one step further next campaign.
“The main aim is to get promoted.
“I watched the game [the Sky Bet League Two Play-Off Final] in Portugal, I think we were unlucky.
“The gaffer spoke to me with regards to the [club’s] home form and how things turned around in October - so we’ve got the foundations to have a really good season next year.
“Let’s go one step further and get promoted.”
When asked what the main attraction was to join the club, Scott said: “I think the manager.
“When we spoke, I knew straight away [that this was a club I wanted to join].
“The training ground [is excellent] and when I have played here before it has always been a really hard game.
“The main reason [for wanting to join] was the manager and where the club is at the minute as well.
“The foundations are there to really have a good season.”
The Rotherham-born ‘keeper lauded the impact of working with the Stags’ goalkeeper coach, Jim McDonagh (Seamus).
“Another big plus is Seamus [the club’s goalkeeper coach, Jim McDonagh],” he said.
“With regards to goalie coaches I don’t think you get anyone with better experience behind them, to pick their brains and to be working under him is only going to benefit me.
“I’m really looking forward to it.”
Scott nearly called time on his playing career last summer as he pondered a move into coaching but says he made the right decision after playing a healthy number of matches last season.
“I turned down a few things last summer with regards to the coaching side, and I had to think whether to keep on playing,” said the ‘keeper.
“I did the right thing [considering] Cheltenham were back in League One [and I was] playing a lot of games.
“I got that hunger back and it was like a new chapter to be honest.
“I played a lot of games last year and it gave me that fire in my belly to be back playing.
“I’m really looking forward to getting going.”
Mansfield are expected to look at expanding their goalkeeping department further this window and the 35-year-old says he would welcome the competition.
“Wherever you go you’re not expected to play.
“You need to work hard in training, you need to work hard in pre-season to begin with.
“No matter who comes in we’ll get along because that’s the sort of person I am.
“I’m a bubbly character, I like things to be done properly and the competition will be there no matter who comes in.
“Whoever does well will get the shirt.”
Scott went on to describe his skill set.
“My biggest strength is probably how calm I am,” he said.
“I don’t think you play the amount of games I have and not have a calm presence around the team.
“I like to think I don’t get flustered under pressure.
“I’d say that’s my biggest attribute.”
Click here to watch Scott’s first interview a Stags’ player.
Alan Nixon @reluctantnicko
Sun 5 June 2022
Nigel Clough's Mansfield Town are signing experienced keeper Scott Flinders on a free.
The Stags are set to pick Flinders from Cheltenham ast the end of his contract and he will compete for start.
Evergreen stopper Flinders had been at Cheltenham Town for five years, accumulating 156 games before they announced they would be releasing him.
He featured 23 times for Michael Duff’s side last season across all competitions. 19 of those appearances were in League One where he conceded 34 goals and kept three clean sheets.
Flinders was told in his end-of-season meeting that Cheltenham wanted to keep him beyond this summer, but finances dictated that he had to move on
Scott Flinders on why he is not finished yet
By Jon Palmer, 13 MAY 2022
Experienced number one wants to continue playing before embarking on coaching career further down the line
Scott Flinders says his final year at Cheltenham Town has given him “a new lease of life” as he looks for an opportunity to continue his goalkeeping career next season.
A year ago he was close to accepting a coaching role with a Championship club, but he is now pleased he made the decision to play on for as long as he can. The 35-year-old started 19 League One matches for the Robins - including the last two - as the club claimed their highest ever finish of 15th in the third tier.
There will be a time when he looks to make the switch to coaching, having completed his A Licence last September, but he believes he still has plenty to offer on the pitch. “During the title-winning season, I took a backward step as I was coming back from a serious injury and Josh (Griffiths) was doing so well,” Flinders said.
“I had more of a coach’s hat on, working with Josh and Max (Harris) along with Booky (Steve Book) and it gave me a good insight of how I’d like to be as a goalie coach. When the opportunity came up last summer to speak to a club about a first team coaching role, I was excited as I’d basically been doing it for 12 months already. I remember driving up the M1 and my wife (Kate) said to me ‘you are not ready to give it up’ and I am so glad I didn’t take the job now.”
Flinders knew from the first training session of pre-season that he’d made the right call. He thought he was finished before Cheltenham signed him a few weeks into the 2017/18 season, but after five years with the club he believes he can still keep up with the younger goalkeepers breaking through. “I realised after my first full pre-season after injury that I still have a lot to give on the playing side,” he said.
Flinders was told in his end-of-season meeting that Cheltenham wanted to keep him beyond this summer, but finances dictated that he had to move on, with Owen Evans made available for transfer and young prospect Harris offered a new deal to continue his development.
“They are looking down a different route now, goalkeeping wise,” he said. “It’s a hard one to take when the club said they wanted to keep me, but I have been in the game long enough to know when my time is up and there are no hard feelings. I’ve enjoyed my time at the club, it’s been an honour, but I have to move on now.”
Even though Flinders’ debut ended in a 1-0 home defeat by Stevenage, that League Two fixture on September 2, 2017 remains one of his highlights. “I’ll always remember that game as I was cutting lawns with my dad a few days earlier,” he said.
“I was checking at Cheltenham’s score against Exeter the week before and I saw they were 2-0 up so I thought ‘they don’t need a keeper’ and I carried on cutting lawns, but they ended up losing 4-3 and Gary Johnson called me. I remember the morning of the Stevenage game I was staying at Paul Baker’s (former chairman) house with Boyley (Will Boyle), but I had to take myself off for a walk through Sandford Park and a quiet drink in Costa to calm my nerves down a bit and then I was ready.”
Flinders may have had a few butterflies before his first Cheltenham appearance, but he never appears flustered when patrolling his 18-yard box. He has made very few errors throughout his 156 outings for the club and that total would be a lot higher but for a badly broken leg suffered in January 2020.
“I feel I’ve been pretty consistent, which is what any player strives for,” he said. “It’s even more important for goalkeepers and I’d like to think everyone knows what they are going to get from me: a reliable, calming influence in the team.
“Look at someone like Alisson at Liverpool, he is so calm and composed. If you model your game on him, you will be doing all right. I was happy playing at Cheltenham, with a big smile on my face and enjoying going into work every day because of the environment.”
Flinders says he has learned much from Michael Duff about how he goes about his business. “I’ve been so lucky to have him as a manager because of the detail he goes into, especially with defending, is like nothing I’ve experienced in my career,” he said.
“I’ll definitely try and take a lot of it into my own coaching style because the fine details are a massive part of goalkeeping. The gaffer has brought that in from day one and although we struggled for a few games at the start, we knew something would click pretty soon and we’ve all reaped the rewards since then.”
Off the pitch, Flinders has spent five years lodging in several different residences with his teammate Will Boyle, who he refers to as his ‘southern wife’. “I’ve loved living down there and five years is a long time,” he said.
“My missus is happy she won’t be a single mum anymore for half the week and I have a lot to thank her for. I’ve seen Boyley grow up properly now and when I first came moved into Paul’s house, I remember Boyley was celebrating his 21st birthday.
“He’s always been mature for his age, but away from football he’s also grown up a lot and I think it’s down to living away from home, because I had to grow up quickly when I moved to London as a youngster. We’ve just been away to Ibiza with our partners, who also get on well. Football is a short career, but he’s a friend for life now, which is the most important thing.”
Flinders, who did not miss a single training session last season, has played at every level from Championship to National League, as well as a spell in the Scottish Premier League. He has also progressed through an academy, completed a scholarship and made his first team debut (for Barnsley) at the age of 18.
“I have a lot of experience to pass on and I’d be stupid not to go down that route when the time comes,” he said. “Player-coach roles are more available now and Scott Brown has done that brilliantly, getting promoted at Exeter. If something like that turned up, I’d definitely consider it, but I am going to see what’s out there playing wise first.
“The nerves before, enjoyment during and the buzz after games are things I am not ready to give up yet. I know my body and look after myself. Those two games I played at the end of the season reiterated to me that I am not ready to jack it in yet because you are a long time retired.”
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