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Archived News from June 2019

28th June 2019 18:31

Dempster makes first signing by capturing prolific striker
mansfieldtown.net, Fri 21 June 2019

Mansfield Town are pleased to announce the signing of prolific goalscorer Andy Cook from Walsall for an undisclosed fee as John Dempster makes his first signing as Stags’ manager.

The 28-year-old - who scored 18 goals for the Saddlers last season in League One- has penned a two-year-deal at One Call Stadium.

Cook, who began his career at Carlisle, enjoyed two loan spells at Barrow before the move became permanent in 2011.

After scoring 18 goals in 60 outings for the Bluebirds, the 6ft 2in marksman joined Grimsby, before re-joining Barrow in July 2014, netting 38 goals in 48 league matches.

His remarkable goalscoring exploits continued at his next club, Tranmere Rovers, as Cook found the net on 51 occasions in a two-year stint.

Cook’s spell at Rovers saw him help the club to a 2-1 victory over Boreham Wood in the National League play-off final at Wembley last summer.

At the end of his Tranmere contract, the front man joined Walsall and became their top goalscorer in League One last season.

Read more at https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2019/june/dempster-makes-first-signing-by-capturing-prolific-striker/

Manager John Dempster said: “I’m really appreciative of the chairman (John Radford) who has supported this signing and to Carolyn (Radford, CEO) for getting the deal over the line.

“Andy’s a player who I have admired from both playing against him and watching him.

“He’ll bring a physical presence to our attacking play which I think we’ve been lacking since the injury to Craig Davies, who himself is working hard to get back to full fitness.

“We have fought hard to capture Andy's signature due to the high interest in him from other clubs, both in this division and League One.

“Andy is a player who will enable us to maintain possession in the opponent’s half of the field and bring other players in to play.

“Andy has an impressive goals tally and is a nightmare to play against.”


John Dempster told iFollow Stags:

"He's a physical presence, a focal point for us to play in to and play off and get players around. That doesn't mean we're going to be route one, it means we've got somebody that can keep the ball in the opponent's half and can build from it.
"He's strong when you've got balls from wide areas coming into the box. And when you've got wide players like CJ Hamilton in your team, that's going to be important.
"We're looking to bring another centre forward of high quality. I don't think a fee will be involved in this player. The target is of high quality."


Signing Andy Cook does not mean I’ll go route one says Mansfield Town boss John Dempster
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Mansfield Town boss John Dempster speaks about the attributes of new signing Andy Cook.

He also dismisses suggestions he will be going direct next season.Just because Mansfield Town have signed a big, strong target man, boss John Dempster has assured fans he isn't planning on going route one next season.

Prolific goalscorer Andy Cook signed on Friday to offer the muscle up front that was lacking last season as Stags just missed out on promotion.

With him and a fit-again Craig Davies to choose from alongside another, different sort of striker Dempster is closing in on, Mansfield should have better options next time around.


“Andy is a physical presence and a focal point for us to play into, play off and get players around,” said Dempster.

“But that doesn't mean we are going to be route one.

“It means you have got somebody who can keep the ball in the opponents' half and you can build from it.

“I think it's something we lacked last season after the injury to Craig Davies, who is also a physical presence.

“It will certainly strengthen our options going forward and I think there will be defenders in League Two who won't be looking forward to playing against him.”

Mansfield fought off rival interest from League One and Two clubs to sign Cook for what Chad understands to be a joint club record fee of £150,000.

Dempster smiled: “When a player scores the amount of goals he did in League One in a relegated team there is always going to be interest - none of them were penalties either. It's a good return.

“There was interest in him from other clubs, but thankfully the chairman supported me in the signing and the CEO managed to get it over the line, so we look forward to working with him.

“We have had lengthy discussions with Walsall for a number of weeks now. These things don't happen overnight because of the interest from other clubs and agents.”

Having had bruising encounters with him on the field in the past, Dempster knows only too well what qualities Cook will bring to the side.

“Andy I someone I have played against in the past and someone I have watched from afar and admired, and I think he brings something different to the team,” he said.

“He is strong and he will compete for every ball, which we lacked a bit up top last season. It's important you're competing for every inch on the pitch.

“But he's also got a knack of popping up with goals here and there of all different variations as well.

“He is strong when balls are coming into the box from wide areas and when you have got wide players like CJ Hamilton in your team that is going to be important.

“Also, when he is in and around the 18-yard box you can bounce balls into him and get players running off him and combining on the edge of the box which is the plan.”


Mansfield Town close in on another high quality striker
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

After the coup of signing prolific goalscorer Andy Cook on Friday, Mansfield Town boss John Dempster is hopeful of adding another high quality striker, possibly before the squad fly to Portugal for their pre-season training camp on Thursday.

Chad understand Stags paid out a joint record club fee of £150,000 to Walsall for Cook’s services.


Now Dempster wants to further bolster his forwards department as well as elsewhere in the side, though won’t be rushed into anything.

“We are looking to bring another centre forward in of high quality,” he said.

“I don’t think a fee will be involved with this particular player.

“The one we’re trying to get is of real high quality, though I can’t say really much more than that. But we do have a number of targets.”

He added: “We have to be patient. Just because we have very successful and wealthy owners does not mean we can add zeros to the transfer fee or to the wages.

“We need to be respected like any other football club. We are a business and we need to run like one.

“I would expect a signing or two in the early part of this week before we go to Portugal, but I don’t want to get too ahead of myself as circumstances can change.

“The market is still open and there will be more action between now and the start of the season.”


Andy Cook is a key signing believes Mansfield Town boss John Dempster
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Tuesday 25 June 2019

Mansfield Town boss John Dempster believes prolific Andy Cook will be a ‘key signing’ for the Stags this season.

Dempster fought off interest from other clubs in League One and Two to pay Walsall an undisclosed fee that Chad believes equals the club’s £150,000 record.

“He is a key signing for us. There was a lot of interest from other clubs, but once I spoke to him personally I got a deep sense that he wanted to come here,” said Dempster.

“He was aware of our squad and current owners.


“It was just a question of the agent and Carolyn (Radford CEO) sitting down and getting the deal done. Fortunately for us that was the case.”

Dempster continued: “He brings goals. Of the target men we highlighted, not all of them had great numbers.

“They had a good record for bringing people into play and assists.

“But some of them did lack goals and you were looking to start going higher up into the divisions if you wanted to bring a player of that quality in.

“Andy is one who brings goals. You can hit him into feet and he can hold defenders off and bring our attacking players into play.

“He is somebody who can set the ball and play it wide if you’re playing with wingers or wing backs, and if you can get crosses into the box, not only can he head the ball into the back of the net but you can also use him for knock-downs and players arriving late into the box to score goals.”

Dempster was given the green light to secure Cook by chairman John Radford and CEO Carolyn Radford at a meeting in Portugal last week as they backed up their promise to give the new manager what he felt he needed for success.

“We spoke about targets in Portugal and, as you saw, they backed me straight away with Andy Cook,” he said.

“They reiterated their support for me and how much they believe in the current squad.

“Of course they were disappointed how last season ended up.

“The chairman is the driving force behind this football club.

“He saved it many, many years ago from disaster and if you look at how this club has come on over the years it’s been incredible and that’s why we all want to be part of it.

“When I put my list of players I wanted to the chairman he took a deep interest and asked lots of questions.

“He likes stats and how players have done in previous years, and it was a really positive chat with them.”

Some Walsall fans, disgruntled to lose Cook, believe he could end up top scorer in League Two next season.

“I hope they are right - that goes without saying,” smiled Dempster.

“His numbers last season were brilliant and in previous seasons he has scored goals too. But he will bring more to the table than that.

“He will bring people into play, he will be a real pain for centre backs at League Two level. If he can bring those goals to the table as well I will be a happy man.”

So does bringing in a target man like Cook mean Dempster is considering going with wingers next season?

“I would like to have that option,” he said.

“I think wing backs worked really well at times last season, but I’d like that flexibility to play with wingers at different times as well, depending on our position and different factors. It would be a great option to have.”


Andy Cook leaves Walsall for Mansfield
By Joseph Masi, Fri 21 June 2019

While officially undisclosed, the Express & Star understands the Stags have paid in the region of £150,000 plus add-ons for the forward.

In what is a huge blow for the Saddlers, manager Darrell Clarke confirmed the striker asked to leave the club a number of weeks ago.

The 28-year-old, who joined the club on a free transfer from Tranmere, scored 18 goals last season despite Walsall being relegated from League One. He was also crowned the club's Player of the Year.

Manager Clarke said: On the very first phone call I had with Andy Cook numerous weeks ago, his desire was to leave the football club.

“That’s football and we only want players at Walsall who want to be here and that wasn’t the case with Andy Cook.

“We’ve been working away in the background to get the best price. We thank him for his efforts and move forward as a club.

“This is something I was expecting and we look forward to bringing in new recruits over the coming weeks.”

A statement from Walsall said: "The club would like to thank Andy for his efforts during his time with the Saddlers."


Mansfield Town supporters excited about new signing Andy Cook
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Monday 24 June 2019

Mansfield Town’s supporters have given a big thumbs up to the signing of Walsall striker Andy Cook.

Chad understands the Stags have equalled the club record £150,000 fee they reputedly paid out for Lee Peacock in 1997 and Lee Angol in 2017 and Cook’s record at Walsall, Barrow and Tranmere has been excellent.



New striker wants to play big part in promotion charge

New marksman Andy Cook says he wants at least 20 goals in his first season with the Stags as he targets promotion with his new club.

The 28-year-old became the first signing by John Dempster as Mansfield manager after penning a two-year contract from Walsall for an undisclosed fee.

Cook, who scored 18 goals with the Saddlers last season, has hit double figures in front of goal in the last four consecutive seasons.

Wanting to maintain his prolific form next season, the ex-Tranmere man said: “I’m obviously delighted to get it over the line.

“After speaking with the gaffer (John Dempster) and looking around, I can’t wait to get going and for the season to start.

“I’ve played against the gaffer before. I saw the club in the play-offs last season and I want to come and help get this club promoted.

“As a striker you love scoring goals and hopefully I can continue to do that with Mansfield. It’d be nice to get 20 this time around.


“I want to get promoted, that’s the reason I’m here. I want to score goals and get promoted and see how far we can go.”

Describing his style of play, the reason for his goalscoring exploits and what Stags’ supporters can expect from him, Cook said: “I like to think I’m a big lad who holds it up, links up play and also scores goals.

“I just think I’m in the right area at the right time, when the ball comes into the box.

“It’s not just about scoring from inside the box, I’ve scored from outside and all different types of goals and hopefully I can continue that this year.”

Commenting on his first signing, boss John Dempster said: “He’s a physical presence, a focal point for us to play into, play off and get players around. That doesn’t mean we’ll be route one, it means that we’ve got somebody who can keep the ball in the opponents’ half and build from it.

“It’s something we lacked last season since the injury to Davo (Craig Davies). He’ll strengthen our options going forward and there’ll be defenders in League Two who won’t look forward to playing against him.”

View reaction from Andy Cook and John Dempster on our premium online digital channel, iFollow Stags, by clicking here.


Hotshot Andy Cook chose Mansfield Town as they share his promotion dream
chad.co.uk,by John Lomas

Andy Cook chose Mansfield Town over other clubs competing for his signature as they share his dream of ending the forthcoming season with promotion.

Prolific striker Cook, who has just suffered the bitter taste of relegation with Walsall, has signed a two-year deal for a reputed joint club record fee of £150,000 and said: “I want to get promoted. That’s the reason I am here.

“I want to score goals, get the club promoted and see how far we can go.

“The gaffer has told me everything I want to hear. We’ve got the same ambition - we both want to get promoted.


“After speaking to the manager and looking around I can’t wait to get going and I can’t wait for the season to start.

“I’ve played against the gaffer before. I saw the play-offs last year and I want to come and help and, hopefully, get this club promoted.

“I have had interest from other clubs. But I want to get promoted and I want to win games. That’s all it boils down to.

“I am obviously delighted to get it over the line.”

Despite their relegation, Cook was still among the goals last season at Walsall.

“Personally I did well,” he said. “I scored 18 goals in all competitions. But, on the flip side, we got relegated, which wasn’t a nice feeling. No one wants that feeling.

“I had a good record at the previous couple of clubs. As a striker you love scoring goals and hopefully I can continue to do that for Mansfield.

“It would be nice to get 20 this time round. Before last season I’d hit 20 for three seasons on the trot so it would be nice to get that again.”

On his attributes, he said: “I think I am always in the right area at the right time when the ball comes into the box.
“But it’s not all about just scoring goals in the box. I have scored goals from outside the box and all different types of goals too.

“I am a big lad who holds it up and links up play - and also scores goals.”

Cook made a big name for himself at National League level before showing he could score goals in the Football League as well.

“I felt as though I took some time to get used to it,” he said of his move into the big time.

“But once I was playing week in, week out at a higher level you don’t really notice any difference as you are playing, no disrespect, in a better league. You adapt to that level.

“I have played against League Two teams before and I know what to expect. It will be physical and it will be tough. I expect that every week whatever level I play at.

“I am happy to play in whatever system I am told to play as long as we win games and I score goals.”

Cook is now on board in time for the club’s pre-season trip to Portugal this Thursday and said: “I didn’t want to linger around and wait for it to get done.

“I wanted it done before pre-season started so I could get in straight away, know the lads, and get going.

“Pre-season is a big factor in football to get fit and ready for the season.

“We need to get fit for the games coming up - you don’t want to be run all over.”


Ex-boss Paul Cox: Andy Cook is part of a dying breed and a great signing for Mansfield Town
chad.co.uk,by John Lomas, Thursday 27 June 2019

Former Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox believes Mansfield Town have a real gem on their hands after signing Andy Cook, who played under Cox at Barrow.

Cox said big, old fashioned centre forwards were a dying breed and a valuable commodity after Stags forked out a reputed club record-equalling £150,000 to Walsall for the 28-year-old.

“He will always score goals. If you look at his record from the Conference to League Two and League One, his goals to games ratio is always excellent,” said Cox.

“More importantly, it’s his presence. He’s that kind of player - a big strong boy.

“He is a good size, good with his back towards goal, and he is effective when the ball is put into the box from wide areas.

“I don’t think there are that many of his type around at the minute.

“You look at the way a player like Matt Rhead at Lincoln made the step up into the Football League and has progressed and affected games at those levels like I am sure he will at League One level last year.

“They are a dying breed now and I think people with a bit of nous in the game know there will always be room for that kind of player, especially the ones that score the amount of goals that Cooky does.”

He added: “I think he is a very, very good, positive signing, I really do.

“If I am going to be honest I think he was probably something Mansfield lacked last year - a plan B - an option to come off the bench or a change in tactical approach for a game.”

Cox said Cook was a good squad member and excellent personality off the pitch too.

“He is a good lad in the dressing room,” he said.

“He is a nice lad to get along with and I can’t see John having any problems with him as a personality. I never had any problems with him. He is a good team player.”


He continued; “When I was at Barrow he has been at the club for quite a number of years and was already consistent in his play and his goalscoring.

“We were sad to see him go. He was out of contract and we tried to move heaven and earth to get him to re-sign.

“But he knew other clubs were interested in him and he moved from there to Tranmere, which compared to Barrow was a major step up in his career. He went there and scored goals.”


John Radford @JRadfordMTFC twitter

Welcome to our club, Andy.

Well done to our new manager on his first signing and even more so to @CarolynRadford whose hard work made this deal possible, amidst many clubs trying to capture Andy’s signature.



Carolyn Radford social media:

After much hard work behind-the-scenes in the past few weeks, I’m thrilled to be able to get this deal over the line.

Andy’s goalscoring record is outstanding. He is a proven goal scorer and we’re delighted to welcome him into the #Stags’ family.

Hope you guys are happy with the first of our two signings coming up... first one in an hour!

Carolyn Radford
Busy morning but looking forward to @ascotracecourse after finalising a new signing @mansfieldtownfc

In answer to: Is there going to be another signing today or is it next week. You and John are the best.

carolyn_radford instagram: next week now I’d say... worth the wait!


earlier tweet, 4 June 2019
Football League Zone @TheFLZone

Grimsby Town are reportedly interested in re-signing Walsall striker Andy Cook. #gtfc #Saddlers



Latest | June 2019