SPIREITES `FRIENDLY` PLANS ABANDONED
SPIREITES 'FRIENDLY' PLANS ABANDONED
Evening Post, 30 May 2003
Mansfield Town will not be testing their wits against arch-rivals Chesterfield in a pre-season friendly.
The Stags had hoped to take on the Spireites at Field Mill on Wednesday July 23, but manager Keith Curle says the price of policing meant it was not cost-effective. The news will come as a disappointment to Mansfield fans, who enjoyed their best day of the Division Two relegation campaign when they saw their rivals off 2-1 at Saltergate back in January.
However, the Stags have announced another match, against Scarborough on August 2 - a week before the start of the Nationwide League campaign.
Curle said: "We were trying to get a game sorted out with Chesterfield but it's not possible.
"It would have cost us as much to police the game as it would have been for a league fixture and we cannot do it.
"But we have got some good games coming up and I'm really looking forward to getting cracking."
After playing a behind-closed-doors match with Rotherham on July 16, the first-team squad will have five other games, with a two-match tour of Cornwall sandwiched between home games against Manchester City (July 19) and Coventry City (July 30).
The other will be at Northern Counties East League side Sheffield FC, the world's oldest football club, on July 17.
The reserve team will be playing three matches at Matlock (July 31), Worksop (August 4) and Arnold Town (August 6).
That all adds up to a congested programme but I understand yet more fixtures could follow, including another match against university outfit Team Bath.
The Stags were drawn against the students in the first round of last season's FA Cup and managed to return from the West Country with a 4-2 victory.
Curle warned that his players will not be able to relax once they return to training on June 26.
He said: "They will probably find it is going to be the hardest pre-season they have ever had.
"That's not necessarily in terms of distance running but more sharpness training.
"They won't be seen running around the streets of Mansfield, that's for sure."
Meanwhile, Curle has been on a management course at the University of Warwick , organised by the League Managers Association (LMA).
The course offers a wide range of subjects concerning the role of a manager at a football club and Curle said he benefited from the experience.
He said: "We looked at all sorts of issues like relationships with chairmen, the man-management of players and other aspects of the football club, like marketing.
"Basically, it is a business management course which is adapted to football and it's really wide-ranging, including presentation techniques and how to make it easier to get your message across.
"I certainly found it very beneficial."
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