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Archived News from December 2018

19th December 2018 0:04

New facility essential for development - manager
mansfieldtown.net, 11 December 2018

Manager David Flitcroft has described the RH Academy as ‘fundamental’ to the development of players and staff, as the Stags prepare to train at the new training ground for the first time today.

Although the building has not yet been officially opened, the Stags’ boss, along with his players and staff, will today take to the new 3G pitch, followed by the reserves’ Central League Cup clash against Peterborough this afternoon.

Once opened, the RH Academy will be a hive of activity at the weekends thanks to its three full-sized pitches and mini-pitch, and the function room on the ground floor will be available for local community functions. On top of this, the two classrooms and offices on the first floor will be used as an educational hub.

The manager says that with the new facility brings a duty to improve and develop the players and staff.

“I’ve been waiting for this moment [training at RH Academy],” he said. “When I first came here, it was just a bit of land. Over time, what the club has done and built, we’re here today actually using it.

“It’s fundamental to any football club to develop your own training ground. Some people see it as a cost to the club, but it’s an investment.


“If you get it right and make sure everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet, it becomes an investment. It allows you to add value to every player and staff member.

“It’s step up to the plate time for everyone at the football club. [We have to] keep it pristine and keep the building absolutely spotless.

“It’s a brilliant day and one that we’ve been waiting on for a long time. I can’t wait to get started.

“The One Call [Stadium] has been fantastic, but that’s our special place of work. That’s the day of work where everything should be maximised in order to get the three points.

“You work here [RH Academy] every day with a will to improve. If you don’t come in with that purpose, I’ll send players home. It’s been built for that product.

“It has been built for development. It’s been built for the under-21s to come up here so we get an in-depth knowledge on those players.

“We’ll have a respect level going through the building and that ambition to train with the first team.

“We’re looking at options to get a functional gym up here, so we can get the weights and keep the boys strong.

“We’ll have a methodology here. If you train at the highest standard with the under-18s, you’ll be training with the under-21s. If you attain the highest possible standard with the under-21s, you’ll be training with the first team.

“What the chairman, Steve Hymas and the board have built here is pristine. It’s beautiful. It starts with respect and people respecting things like litter and cleanliness.”

The Stags’ boss also spoke about the importance of players taking information on board and having a desire to improve at the new facility.

“I remember Bobby [Olejnik] said to me after the game: ‘gaffer, another clean sheet.’ The pride that he gets and the protection that he’s getting in front of him, you have to be immaculate in your work.

“Whether you’re finishing a chance or keeping a clean sheet, they’re equally as important.

“When I first took over here I had probably quite a lot of rocks. But the more time I’m spending here, I need sponges in this building. I need players that can absorb and take on information.

“A rock is sometimes stubborn, someone who doesn’t want to take on new information. It’s really important that we have players here that want to get better and want to improve.”

Stags are next in action against eighth-placed Forest Green Rovers at the weekend, a club which the manager says have earned their impressive position in Sky Bet League Two.

“I love the whole concept of the club [Forest Green Rovers]. They’re out there and trying to do it differently, but make it sustainable.

“The plan only works when you get the right manager, and I think Mark Cooper is a visionary. He is someone that lives for football and is a fantastic coach.

“The football they play is excellent. He [Cooper] is a coach who improves players. I have a lot of time for the work they do down there.

“They gear up behind the scenes like a Championship club. The owner has a vision, and he has the right manager to back that up.

“They play good football and they’re up there [league table] on merit, they really are. They’ve been consistent. They’re progressing as a football club and a football team.”

The manager also provided an injury update on midfielder Neal Bishop ahead of Saturday’s clash.

“He [Neal Bishop] is good. I thought it [injury against Notts County] was his head at first and I was worried a little bit.

“It was his shoulder that popped out and the medical staff did a great job and got it back in. There is a soreness, but he’ll be okay for the weekend.”

iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.


Hands off CJ Hamilton says Mansfield Town manager David Flitcroft
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Tuesday 11 December 2018

Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft believes he can keep hold of rising star CJ Hamilton, despite expected high levels of interest from bigger clubs during the forthcoming January transfer window. The electric Hamilton, who can play as a winger, wing back or striker, scored both goals in another thrilling display in Saturday’s 2-0 home derby win over Notts County.

Flitcroft’s coaching has improved the player substantially already and he now wants to see Hamilton move up to a higher division with the Stags.

“There is definitely interest in CJ,” said Flitcroft. “But we want him to help us to League One. That’s what the chairman wants. That’s what Carolyn (Radford) wants, the board wants, it’s what I want. “So I am sure we’ll be able to hold onto him. But every time there has been a player with incredible pace in League Two or League One, usually all the top clubs look at them. It will no different for CJ.

Read more at: https://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/hands-off-cj-hamilton-says-mansfield-town-manager-david-flitcroft-1-9487344

“I have spoken to the chairman about it and we know with CJ there is a lot more to come. His development curve has gone so far. “It’s about the energy he gives the stadium now. The songs and the affiliation he’s got with the fans. He excites you. If I wasn’t manager and I was just sat there in the stands I’d want to watch him. “He gives every supporter hope when he is on the pitch, but he is humble with it. He’s humble in everything he does. He wants to get better.”

Flitcroft said it would take a very special bid for Mansfield to consider losing Hamilton. “We have an owner who is one of the most successful owners in League football with the money he’s got,” he said.

“So a ‘cheeky’ bid would just get laughed at. Our owner is switched on and I am not too sure if even a very, very good bid would take him away. “CJ has natural assets that take him past League Two and League One with the way his body composition is and his physicality. “We’d love CJ to come on this whole journey. I think he would as he respects what the club has done for him. “We just have to make sure we grow at the same rate as CJ and he doesn’t outgrow us.”

Flitcroft said the thing he loved most about the player was his willingness to learn and ambition to improve. “He is still the quickest player from the Championship down,” said the manager. “But there is so much more learning for him and he wants to do it. He wants to take information on. “Probably four weeks ago I gave him too much information and I likened it to when you open too many programmes on your computer and it slows down. “He probably had too many programmes open from giving him too much information at once. “So we cut back from that and gave him smaller chunks. He is picking it up and there are more goals and assists to come form him.

“Development is about trust and we have that. I trust him with my life. He is one of the first players that I put down on the team sheet week in week out. “He is an ideal A1 student. We are relentless in how we are trying to improve him.”

With Stags 13 games unbeaten in League Two - the club’s best run for 42 years - Flitcroft said it was inevitable there would also be interest in other players in his squad. “We are a team in form with players in form. Anyone who is trying to improve their squad will have scouts here,” he said. “I am sure MK Dons’ players are getting tracked too. The same at Lincoln and Bury. “I look at Jacob Mellis’ form now and he looks fit and his technical ability is fantastic. “Ryan Sweeney has been so consistent too. When you have a back three, or a back five, that have only conceded 14 goals, then they are committing to their work and people from higher levels will want the best players in League Two.”


Barbados hit by sanctions after playing ‘ineligible’ Mansfield Town skipper Pearce
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Tuesday 11 December 2018

Mystery surrounds why Mansfield Town skipper Krystian Pearce and Carlisle United’s Hallam Hope have been declared ineligible by FIFA for Barbados’ Concacaf Gold Cup qualifier against Guyana in September with Guyana now awarded the points.

A Concacaf statement read: “After due examination of the evidence, the Committee determined that the Barbados Football Association infringed the applicable articles of the Tournament Regulations and the Regulations Governing the Application of the FIFA Statuses in relation to the eligibility of players to play for representative teams by fielding ineligible players Hallam Hope and Kystian Pearce.”

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/barbados-hit-by-sanctions-after-playing-ineligible-mansfield-town-skipper-pearce-1-9487743

The 2-2 draw has now been awarded 3-0 to Guyana.

Stags boss David Flitcroft said he had heard the news, but knew little more.

“We have not looked into it from a club point of view yet. I am not too sure of what happened as yet,” he said.

The change of heart has lifted Guyana from 15th to eighth, an automatic qualifying berth with one game to go against Belize in March.


Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft confident Neal Bishop will face Forest Green
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Mansfield Town are keeping a close eye on midfield dynamo Neal Bishop this week after he dislocated a shoulder at the end of last weekend’s home win over Notts County. But Stags boss David Flitcroft expects his veteran warhorse to play at Forest Green Rovers on Saturday, despite the inevitable soreness in the joint.

“He is good,” said Flitcroft. “I thought it was his head at first and I was worried as, with the new concussion rules, you do worry he could be two weeks out. “But it was his shoulder that had popped out.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-boss-david-flitcroft-confident-neal-bishop-will-face-forest-green-1-9491255

“The medical staff did a great job and popped it back in and it’s just that soreness now. But he will be okay for the weekend. “We have just got to monitor his training load now and make sure he is physically ready for Saturday.”


Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft a big fan of Forest Green Rovers’ unique vision
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Mansfield Town manager David Flitcroft admits he is a big fan of the unique vision of Forest Green Rovers. Stags head there on Saturday trying to maintain their unbeaten away record for the season and extend their club record unbeaten away league run and unbeaten league run to 14 games. But Rovers, who only just survived their first season in the Football League last time around, are this season on the fringe of the play-offs. So boss Mark Cooper has certainly transformed the fortunes of a tiny club who, under chairman Dale Vince, pursue a green and vegan agenda that stand them out against the other 91 clubs.

“I love the whole concept of the club and what they are trying to do. They are trying to be different and make it sustainable,” said Flitcroft. “But a plan only works when you get the right manager and Mark is a visionary. “He lives for football and loves football. He is a fantastic coach and probably the right fit for them. “The football they play is excellent and expansive - they move it through the pitch. “He improves players and I have a lot of time for the work they do down there. He is being invested in. He is being backed.”

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-boss-david-flitcroft-a-big-fan-of-forest-green-rovers-unique-vision-1-9491250

Flitcroft added: “With the recruitment drive they’ve got and their infrastructure, they gear up behind the scenes like a Championship club. “The owner has a unique vision - it’s his own - and he has the right manager to back that up. “They are up there on merit - they really are. They’ve been consistent. “Giving the manager that time has allowed him to understand what the league means, having spent time in the Conference.

“They are progressing as a football club and they are progressing as a football team.”


Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft excited about the future as £2 million training ground opens at last
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

This week Mansfield Town’s players at long last began using the brand new £2 million Radford Hymas Acadamy in Pleasley - and boss David Flitcroft said he was very excited about the future. The new training ground has been in the planning for many years and, although it has not yet had an official opening ceremony, players and manager arrived at Woburn Lane on Tuesday morning with a huge sense of anticipation.

“I have been waiting for this moment since I sat down with the chairman and Carolyn and we talked about the job and the reasons why I would leave Swindon,” said Flitcroft. “It’s a brilliant day and one I have been waiting for for a long time.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-boss-david-flitcroft-excited-about-the-future-as-2-million-training-ground-opens-at-last-1-9492214

“I can’t wait to get started and I am really excited. “When I first came here it was just a bit of land that was in the process - no concrete on site and no base in.

“Now we are actually using it and this is why I’ve come.”

Radford and Hymas’ joint company Mansfield Town Developments has supplied £1.5 million to the project, while the company also received a grant of £500,000 from the Premier League and FA Facilities Fund. The state-of-the-art facility boasts a full-sized floodlit 3G pitch, built to FIFA standards, plus three-full sized grass pitches and a mini-pitch, which will make the facility a hive of activity at weekends. The pavilion consists of four dressing rooms, showers and associated physio rooms, as well as a function room on the ground floor, which will include kitchen facilities to allow the room to be used by the local community for functions.

“It is fundamental to any football club to develop your own training ground,” said Flitcroft. “Some people see it as a cost to a club. But it should be seen as an investment. “We have the 3G pitch here, we have the grass pitches, we have the building. It’s now what we do in it and how we use it. Forest Green are now much tougher opposition for Mansfield Town “It’s how we spend our time teaching people. It’s the teachers, the educators and the coaches that will be in the building and they have got to have a passion to make people better. “If you get that right and make sure everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet and trying to improve staff and players all the time, then is becomes an investment. “It allows you to add value to every player, every staff member and every person that wants to come and work for Mansfield Town Football Club.”

He added: “It’s really important everyone has an ambition and a purpose when they go into work. “I have certainly told my staff what it means to me to support me in this building. “Anyone who doesn’t come into this place with a purpose to improve I will send home - player or staff member.”

Flitcroft expects everyone using the facility to show high values from cleanliness to respect for neighbours. “It’s now time for every single person in this football club to step up to the plate - right down to cooking the breakfast,” he said. “Are we the best we can be? Cooking the meals, keeping the building pristine - absolutely spotless - showing great values running right through whoever works here. “What the chairman, Steve Hymas and the board have built here is pristine. It is beautiful. It starts with cleanliness and respect. “We are near a local school, so we have to show respect to the children and parents dropping off. “All that is really important to me. We have to get that right and go to the next level of standards.” Flitcroft said the training ground would be a much better base than the One Call Stadium for several reasons. “The One Call has been fantastic and that is our special place of work where everything has to be maximised to get you three points,” he said. “But when you are training there every day, does it remain that special, unique place I believe it should be? Or do you get familiar with it?

“At the One Call all your rooms are in different stands which can make things difficult at times. I am not as close to the players there as I want to be. The staff is also fragmented and we only have three quarters of a pitch. “That isn’t really conducive to development. But the new training ground has been built to connect people.”

The manager wants to see respect develop between the different tiers of development. “We can have the U21s up here so we can get an in-depth knowledge of the players, physically, technically what they can do, tactically what they know and socially, how they interact with people,” he said. “Social skills are a big thing for me. I want to interact U21 players with the first team and see what respect they have.

“I only have to look back when I was a young player and the first time I got in and around the first team at Preston I rang my old man up that day. “He came off site and they were all peering over the fence watching us. It had that excitement. I’m not too sure it’s like that any more when playing and training with the first team is almost a given. “We will try to have that respect level run right through the building and create ambition to want to train with the first team. That’s going to be vital. “The U21s will start training here on certain days. We will also have opportunities for the U18s to come and train here.” Flitcroft said he wanted to continue to coach gifted players into adding hard work to their game so improve them. “Part of my philosophy has always been to develop a technically gifted player,” he said. “Technically gifted players usually don’t want to work as hard as a more workmanlike player. “I was a workmanlike player and I loved to come into work every day, but I worked with so many technically gifted players that thought they just had to turn up. “It’s about taking a technically gifted player and seeing if we can turn him into someone that values hard work, out of possession work, and what some say is the ugly side of the game. “Not to me. For me that is the beautiful side of the game. “If someone wants to run for his team mates, himself, his family and our supporters, that to me is the beautiful side of the game. “It’s about turning a technically gifted player into a Marine. That’s what I pride myself on. We have the opportunity to do that up here.”

He added: “The only thing we have missing up here is a functional gym so we can keep the weights up and the boys strong. We are looking at options for one. “If you attain high standards with the U18s then you will train with the U21s. If you attain the highest possible standard in the U21s then you be training with the first team. “The kids we have coming through excite me. But you have to spend time with them. “This now gives us the chance to get them out on the 3G. It doesn’t matter what the weather is. It can be frosty, it can be lashing down, snowing, it doesn’t matter.”



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