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Archived News from June 2019

29th June 2019 23:15

Manager holds positive talks with owners as they plot success
mansfieldtown.net, Tues 25 June 2019

Stags’ boss John Dempster has spoken about his recent discussions with owners John and Carolyn Radford as the trio recently met to mastermind a successful season next term.

The new manager- our former academy chief - recently met with the chairman and chief executive at their residence in Portugal.

He will also see the owners later this week when he, his staff and squad fly to Amendoeira as part of a ten day training camp.

Speaking at a news conference at One Call Stadium today, Dempster said: “We discussed different things about the football club, mainly targets and they backed me straight away with Andy Cook. I think he’s a key signing.

“We spoke about future plans for the club and they reiterated their support for me and how much they believe in the current squad.


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

“When I put my list together of players that I wanted, he took a deep interest. He likes to view stats of how players have done in recent years. It was a really positive discussion with John and Carolyn.”

Dempster is currently in talks with several players as he aims to strengthen his squad, following the signing of Cook from Walsall for an undisclosed fee and young goalkeeper Aidan Stone, formerly of Burnley.

Elsewhere, the manager responded to speculation linking striker Danny Rose (pictured) with a potential move away from One Call Stadium.

“I’ve had verbal conversations with agents and managers about Danny,” said the gaffer. “There is interest.

“But having sat down him at the end of last season< Danny was keen to stay. He seems to be very motivated towards next season and was very positive about making an impact because he had a disappointing season last season with injury and what have you.

“But clearly every player has a valuation and if the chairman decided that that valuation was met then discussions would be open.

“I’d be happy for Danny to stay at the football club because he has various strengths which would be key to our success going forward.

“He is a bit of an all-rounder. He can run in behind, hold the ball up, wins free-kicks high up the pitch - which is key at League Two level. He is a grafter. If you look at his outstanding season a couple of seasons ago, he covered every blade of grass on the pitch. He is someone who I value.”

It was confirmed that defender Ben Turner- who joined the club in February from Burton Albion - has rejected a new contract with Mansfield but sent his well wishes to the Staags after making the decision. Midfielder Jacob Mellis will also be with the club next season, it was confirmed after a new deal was agreed

Stags’ first team squad will report at One Call Stadium tomorrow morning for the first day of pre-season, which will largely include the recording of heights, weights and body fat percentages.

The first team professionals - along with 10 under 21s’ players - will then fly out to Portugal on Thursday for a ten day training camp, which will include an inter-squad match and a training game against Swansea City.

Dempster told this morning’s media what the players can expect from the trip.

“Over the ten days, we’ll be drip feeding how we expect them to behave on and off the pitch. It’ll be a time to talk tactics, home and away. The big part is fitness and the social side as the players get together.

“It’s not a summer holiday, they’ve been and past. We’re going there to work to set the foundations for a successful campaign.”

Meanwhile, it was confirmed that Ian Pledger has been re-appointed as goalkeeping coach and Dan Ashby as performance analyst.

For the manager’s full interview, log in to http://www.mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.


from the full interview on iFollow Stags
Dempster: "I expect Hayden (White) to start pre-season with the rest of the lads, which is a massive positive.

from the full interview on iFollow Stags
Dempster: "I'd like to have the option of playing with wingers.
I think wing-backs worked really well at times last season. But to have that flexibiity to play with wingers at times depending on our position would be a great option to have."


No recent interest in Hamilton.

Dempster told BBC Radio Nottingham: "Before I was put into my new role there was interest and people were talking to the chairman about CJ (Hamilton).
But I'm not aware of any new bids that have come in for the player.
If his valuation was met, I'm sure we would consider it. But that would have to be a big fee."

interview at https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p07f3smf


twitter @mansfieldtownfc

The manager says it would have to be ‘a big fee’ to prize winger CJ Hamilton away from One Call Stadium, after enquiries for the former Sheffield United man.


twitter BBC Nottingham Sport @BBCRNS

Correction - We misinterpreted a comment earlier from #stags manager John Dempster, suggesting Sheff Utd are interested in CJ Hamilton....
This wasn't correct. Our apologies.#stags #sheffieldunited


Can Mansfield Town land new striker in time for Portugal trip?
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Tuesday 25 June 2019

Mansfield Town head for Portugal on Thursday with two new faces in their ranks and new boss John Dempster hoping to add a third in time to make the plane.

Dempster made his first two signings of the summer this week with target man Andy Cook followed by young keeper Aidan Stone.

The prolific Cook was described as a ‘key signing’, but Dempster said he had another ‘high quality’ striker in the pipeline too.

On his next big signing, Dempster said: “I would say we’re close.


“Verbal negotiations are ongoing. It’s difficult to hurry these things though as it’s got to be right for the football club and the player. “As soon as those two things are right I am sure we’ll get something done.

“I am speaking to agents and other managers daily, but I couldn’t put an exact time on it.”

The players are back for the start of pre-season tomorrow (Wednesday) ahead of the 10-day training camp in Portugal and Dempster said: “I can’t wait.

“I’ve been waiting for a number of weeks now to get in among the player and start communications with them, so they will be in tomorrow.

“We will have a brief discussion about the short term plan going forward, the fitness testing, the Portugal plan, and the week after that we have a few games coming up when we return.”


Interest in Danny Rose confirmed, but Mansfield Town boss John Dempster wants and expects striker to stay with Stags
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Tuesday 25 June 2019

Despite interest from other clubs, Mansfield Town manager John Dempster expects Danny Rose to be part of his squad for the coming season.

Stories have emerged that League Two rivals Tranmere Rovers, Salford City and Bradford City are all keen to sign Rose and Dempster confirmed there had been initial enquiries without naming clubs.

But, while admitting the club would listen to offers if Rose’s valuation was met, he believed the player wanted to stay and see out his contract with Stags.

“I have verbal conversations with agents and managers about Danny - there is interest in him,” said Dempster.


“But, having sat down with him at the end of last season, Danny was keen to stay.

“He seemed to be very motivated towards next season and really positive about making an impact as he has a very disappointing season last season.

“There were many factors that went into why he had probably a more challenging season last season, including his injuries.

“Clearly every player has a valuation and if the chairman decided that his valuation had been met then discussions would be open. We would listen to bids.”

He continued: “The interest at this moment in time is only verbal, so it’s very early stages.

“I would be happy to see Danny stay at the football club as I think he’s got various strengths that would be key to our success going forward.

“He is a bit of an all-rounder in terms of he can run in behind, he can hold the ball up, he wins free kicks high up the pitch - which is key at League Two level for set plays - and he is a grafter.

“If you look at his outstanding season two seasons ago he probably covered every blade of grass on the pitch. He is someone of value and I am looking forward to working with him.”


The Sun, Mon 24 June 2019
Mansfield front-man Danny Rose is a summer target for at least three clubs.
Bradford, Salford and Tranmere are all keen on the 25 year old, who is valued at around £150,000.


Jacob Mellis deal finally signed and sealed for Mansfield Town
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Mansfield Town midfield ace Jacob Mellis has finally put pen to paper on a new contract.

“Jacob is now a registered player for us next season,” smiled manager John Dempster.


“He is a player with good natural ability for us on the ball who will be key for us next season.

“It was never in doubt really, having spoken to Jacob at the end of last season. When you’re trying to break teams down at home I think he is going to be key.

“He’s played at a higher level and he is another player I had really positive discussions with at the end of last season. To have him officially on board is massive.”


Unlikely now that Nottingham Forest loanee Tyler Walker will return to Mansfield Town
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Mansfield Town boss John Dempster believes it is unlikely last season’s top scorer - 26-goal Nottingham Forest loanee Tyler Walker - will return to the One Call Stadium.

“I am still in communication with Tyler,” said Dempster.


“But realistically I’m not sure whether coming back to Mansfield would happen. We now have other irons in the fire.

“The manager at Nottingham Forest has asked him to go back and do pre-season training with them, so Tyler will be hoping to be part of their plans.

“Also, because of his outstanding performances and his goal tally for us, there will possibly be interest from higher divisions too.

“I will stay in contact with him, but that’s quite far down the line.

“We wish him well for the future and if he did ever become available I think he knows we’d be interested now. I think at times he probably wants me to leave him alone!”


Mansfield Town hopes of keeping Ben Turner are ‘dead in the water’
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Big central defender Ben Turner will not be returning to Mansfield Town after turning down the contract offered to him.

Free agent Turner came in as cover for the end of last season and hugely impressed, once fully fit, in the last few games.

Stags boss John Dempster will now look elsewhere, hoping he may be able to find a full back or wing back who can also cover in the centre like Hayden White and Mal Benning.

On the Turner deal, he said: “That is dead in the water now. We offered terms to Ben that he wasn’t happy with. It didn’t work for him, which I respected.


“But he was very complimentary about the football club and our squad of players and he wished them all well.

“He is a very professional person and a good player and I am sure he will be a real asset for another football club.”

Dempster confirmed he would still look to strengthen at the back.

“Potentially we probably need competition down the right and the left defensively,” he said.

“We have two outstanding players in Mal Benning and Hayden White, but we are lacking a bit of cover there.

“So that’s something I need to look at - maybe a player who can play centre half and a full back position? Or maybe someone who can play wing back and be a bit more attacking?

“We have got a lot of irons in the fire but we have got to be patient.”


Injured Mansfield Town trio fly out to Portugal with squad
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Long term injured trio Craig Davies, Hayden White and Bobby Olejnik will all travel out to Portugal today to be part of Mansfield Town’s pre-season training camp.

They will continue their rehabilitation out there, but also be part of the team-building environment of being around the other players.

“All of them will be involved in everything the team do in terms of training times,” said manager John Dempster.

“But depending on where they are physically in their rehab, clearly they will be limited in what they can do.


“They are all at different periods on their rehab. But they will at least be working alongside sessions that are going on with the players that are fit.”

Wing back White is coming on leaps and bounds since his broken ankle at Newport in January and Dempster said: “I would expect Hayden to start pre-season with the rest of the squad which is a massive positive.

“I think he is someone we missed last season when he got his injury.

“I don’t know Hayden inside out in terms of his character, but from what I have seen of him he is a really bubbly character.

“Not only is he a brilliant player at this level but he’s also a character you want in and around the squad with a positive attitude. I am really looking forward to him.”


Mansfield Town head out to Portugal for 10 days of hard work and integration
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Mansfield Town head for the sunshine of Portugal today - but boss John Dempster warned it would be no holiday as they were there for 10 days of hard work at the pre-season training camp.

However, he hopes it will also bond the squad together well and integrate the cream of the club’s U21s into that environment too.

This is the second year Stags have made this trip and Dempster said: “Having been there last year the facilities are outstanding - the pitch, the gym, and there is a golf course there if the boys have a rest period and there are any golfers in the team.

“There is everything you need for a good pre-season training camp.


“Over the 10 days we will be drip feeding into them how we expect them to behave on and off the pitch. It will be a time to talk tactics and what we expect home and away.

“A big part will be fitness plus the social side of the players getting together and getting to know the new staff members and new players.

“Hopefully the players from last season will get back together and talk about their summer breaks, how refreshed they are and ready for the new challenge.”

Dempster warned of a tough 10 days, saying: “It’s not a summer holiday - the summer holidays have been and passed.

“We are going there to work and set the foundations for a successful campaign.

“You always look forward to coming back and getting in amongst it with the boys and the staff. But it can quite a painful time physically, so that can make coming back quite daunting.

“But it is a really rewarding time for players.

“Although the challenge is tough, when you’ve got a sweat on and you’ve worked your socks off with your team mates, or when you have achieved a certain time in a certain run, when you have showered and you’re driving home or heading back to your room, you get a real sense of fulfilment and achievement.

“That is part of the team bonding process that I am looking forward to.”

Along with the first team squad, Dempster is taking the pick of the U21s along to for the experience.

“We will take the whole squad out there to get everyone together,” he said.

“We’re also looking at taking 10 of our U21 players which will allow us to do different types of sessions and integrate them into the first team squad, which will be an unbelievable experience for those younger players.

“I am really looking forward to seeing how they not only deal with the physical work but also being in and around the first team players socially. It’s a brilliant challenge for them.”


No new bids for CJ Hamilton as Mansfield Town hope he will stay
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Mansfield Town manager John Dempster has said he knows of no new interest in CJ Hamilton as yet this summer.

Hamilton attracted interest from Championship clubs in the January window but no one met the club’s valuation at that time and all seems to have been quiet since then.

However, Dempster won’t count his chickens over keeping the lightning quick wide man until the transfer window closes - and he believes the best is still to come from Hamilton.

“I think there will definitely still be verbal interest in CJ,” he said.


“That will be with the chairman really and I don’t think any of that verbal interest will have met his valuation as yet.

“I don’t see CJ going anywhere unless the fee the chairman wanted was hit.

“Before I was put into my new role, there was interest and people were talking to the chairman about CJ. But I am not aware of any new bids having come in for the player.

“If his valuation was met I am sure we would consider it - but that would have to be a big fee.”

He added: “From a manager’s point of view I am hoping to see CJ here next season.

“He is a player with real potential that I don’t think has met that potential as yet. As good as he was last season, I think there is more to come.

“He was outstanding for us last season and I would love to see him here with us for the start of the new season.”


Backroom duo back at Mansfield Town
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Tuesday 25 June 2019

Two crucial members of the backroom staff at Mansfield Town have returned to the club’s fold under new manager John Dempster.

Goalkeeper coach Ian Pledger and senior performance analyst Dan Ashby followed sacked manager David Flitcroft out the door at the disappointing end of a highly promising campaign.

But Dempster has told the pair he wants them to stay at the club on his team.

“I was aware of Ian’s relationship with the two senior goalkeepers,” said Dempster.


“I think he has developed them brilliantly as you could see in some of their performances last season, which was important to me.

“With Dan I have worked closely with him over the last two or three weeks now, looking at clips of players and discussing them with him.

“Speaking to people internally and externally he is a highly-rated young analyst. He is someone I am looking forward to working with.

“His knowledge of the game is of a slightly different mindset to a former player and he is a valuable asset.”


New boy Aidan Stone will blossom as he learns from Mansfield Town keeper duo says boss John Dempster
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Tuesday 25 June 2019

John Dempster believes new Mansfield Town goalkeeper Aidan Stone will blossom as he works alongside the experienced duo of Conrad Logan and Bobby Olejnik.

Formerly on Burnley’s books, Stone, 20, arrived at the club this week to cover for the injured Olejnik, who will miss the start of the campaign with his knee injury, and offer further competition down the line.

“He is a good, young goalkeeper with good, natural attributes that have been developed at Burnley, who have an outstanding record of developing young goalkeepers,” said manager Dempster.

“It’s an area we needed to cover because of the injury to Bobby last season. So we will now have cover there for the early part of next season.


“But I think it would have been a waste not to have had a young goalkeeper in and around the likes of Conrad and Bobby as they are both outstanding senior pros that a young keeper can only learn from.

“Now we have also brought Ian Pledger back into the fold as goalkeeping coach, I think Aidan will come on leaps and bounds.”

Dempster added: “Bobby is recovering well from his injury and we are looking forward to having him back from around September.

“Aidan is a young pro, but if develops at the rate we’re hoping he will he will certainly be in contention for that number one jersey.

“He’s a good physical size, he’s local, he’s actually decent with his feet as well. Burnley have developed him well in that department. So his distribution is good. And he’s a good shot-stopper.

“It helps he is the physical size he is. Her shook my hand the other day and he dwarfed my hand. So hopefully he’ll keep them out the net.”

On Olejnik’s return from a serious knee injury, Dempster said: “I think we are probably looking at September time for Bobby.

“It was a serious injury so we want to make sure it’s right.”


Tough start to new season admits Mansfield Town boss John Dempster
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Tuesday 25 June 2019

Mansfield Town boss John Dempster has spoken for the first time about his club’s tough start to the forthcoming season.

The new fixture list sends Stags to Newport County, who beat them in the play-offs last season, on the opening day of the League Two campaign.

Then Mansfield face two bruising home games against Morecambe in four days after drawing them in the Carabao Cup first round as well.

Dempster said: “Newport away will be a tough one as we found out last season. But they’re all tough aren’t they?


“It’s a new campaign. They will have new players in. We’ll have a new philosophy and I am sure it will be a right ding-dong battle - there is no doubt about that.

“The job that the manager has done at Newport is exceptional and I look forward to locking horns with him.”

He continued: “Morecambe will be another tough test. I know Jim Bentley very well - we did our A licence together.

“He is another manager that has done really well on a shoestring. He is another respected person in the game and somebody who is a wily old fox in terms of tactics and set plays.

“So will be have to be ‘en pointe’ to get anything out of those two games.

“The next six or sevens weeks will be in preparation for those games.”


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.”



Latest | June 2019