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Archived News from July 2017

7th July 2017 21:30

Stags snap up talented frontman
mansfieldtown.net, Tuesday 27 June 2017

Mansfield Town are pleased to announce the signing of rapid frontman Omari Sterling-James from Solihull Moors.

The talented 23-year-old joins the Stags following an exceptional individual campaign with the Moors in the National League.


The former Birmingham City trainee had spells in non-league football after leaving Blues as an 18-year-old. Following a number of impressive performances, he then secured a move to League Two side Cheltenham Town.

After making his professional debut against Brighton and Hove Albion, he drifted out of the team and linked up with Solihull Moors last summer.

The Birmingham-born frontman scored on his debut in a 3-1 victory over Sutton United and also picked up a number of the Man-of-the-Match awards throughout an impressive campaign.

Sterling-James became a vital cog in the Moors' side and was rewarded with a new deal at Damson Park after scoring back-to-back braces over the Christmas period, scoring in a 4-4 draw with Dagenham and Redbridge and a 3-2 victory over Chester.

Nine goals and six assists in the National League last season culminated in a call-up for the Saint Kitts and Nevis national side at the beginning of this month.

“Omari Sterling-James is a young man who we became aware of through people who watch a lot of non-league football for us,” said manager Steve Evans.

“The two players [in non-league] who were indentified to us were Johnny Hunt and Omari Sterling-James.

“It was clear that Solihull, Omari’s former club, wanted a transfer fee for the player, but after being made aware of what could best be described as an administration error, I learned that Omari was available for clubs to speak to him with no transfer fee involved.

“My understanding is that not only ourselves, but another clubs in League One and League Two spoke with Omari and we are fortunate that the kid knows one or two of our players, in particular Mal Benning, who I believe spoke so highly of our ambitions.

“After meeting with Omari, it became clear to me that he was a very ambitious young man and wanted to challenge himself at this level following an outstanding season in the National League.

“Paul Raynor, my assistant, watched him live against Luton Town in last season’s cup run and it’s fair to say that, in Paul’s opinion, Omari was the best player on the pitch.

“I myself had an opportunity to watch him late in the season and after taking everything into consideration and the value of the deal it would take to bring Omari on board, it became simply a ‘no brainer’ that we tried to sign him.

“I wish Omari every success as he steps up to a higher level and I have no doubt that with the talented players around him, he will get an opportunity to excel in the attacking areas of the pitch.

“I do see Omari as a striker and not as a wide player, although he can be deployed in a wide area very effectively, should we decide to utilise him in that position.”

Omari Sterling-James' deal at One Call Stadium will run from 01 July and is subject to EFL ratification.


Joining Stags was 'no brainer', says Sterling-James
mansfieldtown.net, Tuesday 27 June 2017

After putting pen-to-paper on a deal at One Call Stadium, new signing Omari Sterling-James has explained that it was an easy decision to join the club from National League side Solihull Moors.

The 23-year-old scored nine goals and chalked up six assists during the Moors' maiden season in the fifth tier of English football last season, which has led to Stags' boss Steve Evans acquiring his services ahead of the new season.

Sterling-James has spent the majority of his career on the wing, however he is likely to be deployed mainly as a striker at One Call Stadium.

And the Saint Kitts and Nevis international is looking ahead to the new season after making the easy decision to join the Stags.

"I'm delighted to be here and I can't wait to get started," Sterling-James said.


"I've got a few friends here as well and they've spoken very highly of the club, so it was a 'no brainer' really."

The former Birmingham City trainee is Stags' 13th signing of the summer as the gaffer assembles a squad capable of challenging for promotion and Sterling-James is excited to be challenging towards the top end of Sky Bet League Two.

"[I want] to help the club get promotion, score a few goals, help create a few goals and just help winning games.

"We should be getting in the play-offs, without a doubt. I guess that will be everyone's ambitions, achievements and targets [to get in] there."

Sterling-James has previous EFL experience with Cheltenham Town and he says now is 'the perfect time' to join the Stags in order to get a full pre-season under his belt.

"I guess it's the perfect time [to come into the club] before everyone goes in and gets all the work done. It's better than joining during pre-season.

"I performed pretty well [last season]. There were times I could have done better and times I was excellent, but I've just got to keep trying to get my performance levels up, get my head sorted and help the team get wins."


Evans takes advantage of contract loophole to land Omari
by JOHN LOMAS, Tuesday 27 June 2017

Steve Evans was quickest off the mark to sign Omari Sterling-Thomas this week when a contractual loophole saw him available to sign for free from National League Solihull Moors.

The 23-year-old can play as a winger or central striker and Mansfield Town manager Evans was delighted to make him Stags’ 13th summer signing.

“He is a young man who was brought to our attention around Christmas time, though we knew him before when he played non-league and got a move up to Cheltenham,” recalled Evans.

“We looked at him then but didn’t think he was quite right or ready for the level.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/evans-takes-advantage-of-contract-loophole-to-land-omari-1-8618801

“But he has been outstanding at Solihull and the only reason we didn’t go for him earlier in the window was because he was subject to quite an expensive transfer fee.

“Then I became aware through the channels that due to a slight administrative error and suddenly the player was available to move without a transfer fee which suddenly changes your thought process.” Seeing him sign for League Two Mansfield has raised a few eyebrows. “Every judge of non-League football I have spoken to since Monday said they thought we were fortunate to get him as they thought he would be going to League One,” said Evans.

“We won’t talk him up any more than that. I see him as a central striker. He is rapid quick and I can see him being deployed wide as well depending on what shape or system we play.

“Paul and I have both seen him play as a central striker.

“We are just going to put him in a little bottle and take the cork off at the start of the season and see if he can jump out like a genie and play. It could be Omari the genie!”



Moors wish to announce that Omari Sterling James has left the club to join Football League Division 2 Mansfield Town. The Stags Manager Steve Evans is quoted on their web site;

“It was clear that Solihull, Omari’s former club, wanted a transfer fee for the player, but after being made aware of what could best be described as an administration error, I learned that Omari was available for clubs to speak to him with no transfer fee involved.”


“A new deal for 17/18 was discussed verbally with Omari prior to end of season 16/17 but the player expressed a desire to play full time league football so no deal was reached and his contract ran to it's natural conclusion.

There was no option on the contract as the player would not sign one when he originally joined us on a one year deal so there was no transfer fee due as he was a free agent at end of season 16/17. Due to his age we could possibly have been entitled to compensation but as Omari had only been with us for one season and as he had formally played at a higher level, proving that we had invested extensive time and money in developing him (which is the criteria any compensation claim is based on under FA rules) would have meant a lot of potentially costly (as a tribunal fee has to be paid by both the former and new clubs before the tribunal is held) and time consuming hassle for both clubs and for the player himself for what would ultimately result in a nominal, if any, compensation fee being due to SMFC so in the interests of all parties this course of action was not taken and we would like to thank Omari for his services to the club and wish him well at Mansfield Town and in the future.

Once Omari made it he clear he did not want to stay for another season and no deal could be reached, we focused our attentions on other targets to replace him.”



Latest | July 2017