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Archived News from April 2002

24th April 2002 12:56

Evening Post, 24 April 2002
MANSFIELD manager Stuart Watkiss has denied reports that he has signed Walsall defender Dion Scott.
The Saddlers' official website said the 21-year-old defender was set to sign for Stags yesterday.
But Watkiss said he was still in discussions with Keith Haslam over how much he could spend over the summer.
Scott played for Stags Reserves in their 1-1 draw with Rochdale last week.
Watkiss said: "Dion is a player I know well and one I like and we are very interested in bringing him to the club.
"However, nothing has been sorted yet as I am still talking to the chairman about how much we can spend."
Meanwhile, Watkiss said he will be organising fitness sessions for his players throughout the summer to make sure they hit the ground running when they start their Division Two campaign in August.
The season ended three weeks early this year because of the World Cup and Watkiss believes ten weeks is too long a break.
The players were having their fitness assessed today and will return for pre-season training on Monday, July 1.
Watkiss said: "Today is going to be fitness day and we will do half a day's training on Wednesday mornings throughout the summer.
"Each player will have to attend five out of the nine sessions so they can keep ticking over.
"I think ten weeks is too long to do absolutely nothing and I think most clubs will be doing the same this season."
If levels of fitness are not up to scratch, the players will be required to attend more sessions, but Watkiss is confident he will not need to crack the whip.
He said: "If they are having problems or putting on too much weight, then they will be coming back for a sixth or seventh session, but I have enough faith in my players to believe that will not be required.
"I have been at the club for six years and every time I have come back for pre-season training, the standard of fitness has always been very good.
"Whenever I played, I made sure I had a couple of weeks' complete rest and then I would be looking to pick myself up again.
"That's when you get most of your fitness back and then you use pre-season to make sure you are at your peak when the season starts.
"You do need a break at this time of year but ten weeks would be too long to do nothing."
Watkiss was delighted the town came out to celebrate on Saturday night but warned next season could be a very difficult one.
He said: "Seeing everyone out on Saturday night was great because it showed just how much it means to people.
"But next year is going to be tough.
"We beat Huddersfield with a great performance in the FA Cup but we also lost to both Notts County and Blackpool and they were both in the bottom half of Division Two.
"We are entering a different league because there are clubs who have got a lot more financial clout than us.
"This club has never been on the same level as people like Stoke City, Wigan, Cardiff or Barnsley.
"Even Notts County have always been seen as a club bigger than ourselves."


Latest | April 2002