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Archived News from May 2006

30th May 2006 21:03

Frustration for Shirtliff
CHAD website, 30 May 2006

PETER Shirtliff is being frustrated in his bid to quickly bring in new faces at Field Mill.
Shirtliff released eight players at the end of the season and had said he hoped to bring in their replacements sooner than later as he planned for the new campaign.
But things have not moved as quickly as wished for.
"I am hoping to hear back from a player in the next day or two, but overall it's been frustrating," he said.
"It is going to be a slow process. I know one or two clubs have signed a couple of players. But if you look at our league generally there has been very little movement at all.
"Players are holding out and weighing up their options. But you can only hold out for so long. Sooner or later you have got to make decisions."
He said he was happy with his four strikers and that it was in midfield, particularly wide, and defence that he was looking to bring in new faces, along with a new keeper to provide competition with Jason White.
"We already have four strikers that I am quite confident with," he said.
"They are all slightly different to each other and I think they can all score goals. So the ball is in their court.
"We do need some wide players to supply them. But we really need to get some quality into the club. We have to stop conceding goals so easily.
"I will be working in pre-season on being tighter and defending a bit higher up the pitch.
"I am also looking for much more dominance from a keeper in our 18 yard box.
"I am speaking to players. But it is difficult right now as agents are telling their players not to sign anything and keep their options open which I can understand but which is very frustrating for myself."
Peter Shirtliff denied Sunday newspaper rumours that he is about to join local rivals Notts County.
"I know nothing about it, but rumour are all part and parcel and there is speculation about every club in the press," he said.
Evening Post, 29 May 2006

Peter Shirtliff is prepared to play the waiting game to land his summer transfer targets.

The Stags boss has tasted for the first time the frustration of trying to secure fresh blood ahead of the new season.

But with players keeping their options open in case they get better offers from other clubs, Shirtliff is willing to be patient.

"Since I have been back from holiday I have been doing a few bits and pieces and trying to bring in a couple of new faces but it's not easy," he said.

"At this time of year all the players are being advised not to sign anything and to wait to see what turns up. That can be very frustrating but I am learning to live with it and I'm still hopeful that I can bring in the targets I have in mind."

None of the out-of-contract players offered new deals - Simon Brown, Gareth Jelleyman, Callum Lloyd, Chris Beardsley, Jon-Olav Hjelde and Giles Coke - have yet signed to stay at the club.

But Shirtliff is quietly confident that all of them will be at Field Mill next season - including midfielder Giles Coke - who has already rejected a deal. He said: "I think they all want to stay and it is a matter of just tweaking one or two things with some of them. Most of the players are under 24, so we are entitled to compensation if they were to leave. We have had no offers at all for Giles, so we would hope that he would stay here and look to improve."

Shirtliff also dismissed rumours linking him with the assistant manager's role at Norwich City under old team-mate Nigel Worthington.

But Shirtliff has been unable to sign a highly promising teenage footballer - because he has to finish his GCSE exams first. The club are still hoping to land the talented 16-year-old, who is not local, and then sign him on a professional contract once he turns 17 later this year.

But they have to wait until the youngster completes his studies next month to clinch a deal for the player.

It was a similar situation with Alex John-Baptiste, who is now a first team regular with the Stags.

Shirtliff thinks he will have pulled off a real coup if the player signs and believes it is a sign that the Stags put faith in their youngsters.

"This boy has got a good future and hopefully he will sign soon after his exams," said Shirtliff.

"When we have spoken to his parents. They have made that as one of the key issues - that he gets a chance to play.

"The facts are that we have had seven or eight players in the team under 21 last season and people are starting to realise that youth is given a chance at Mansfield. We are a good young side with prospects and that can make us an attractive proposition for someone trying to make their way in the game."

Shirtliff has admitted talking to former Rotherham player Andy Monkhouse, who was released by the Millmoor club at the end of last season.

He was linked with the Stags and Colchester earlier this but the Stags manager said it would be unlikely the Leeds-born player would come to Field Mill.

He said: "I have inquired about Andy but at the moment he is speaking to other clubs."


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