JOHN RADFORD ON PORTUGAL,DEMPSTER,HOTEL,BISHOP ST.
Chairman reiterates promotion ambition
mansfieldtown.net, 4 July 2019
Chairman John Radford has reiterated his desire for promotion this season, saying that he will do ‘everything he can’ to push the Stags into the top three places of Sky Bet League Two.
The chairman is currently out in Portugal with the Mansfield first team, as the Stags go through their pre-season training programme.
Speaking to iFollow Stags, John Radford says that he will ‘keep chasing’ the Sky Bet League Two title, something he has done for the ‘last three years.’
“We’re looking forward to the start of the season, and we’re enjoying the pre-season at the moment, having a long break as a family,” he said.
“As far as Portugal is concerned, it’s an excellent place to come for pre-season.
“I’ve watched [Glasgow] Rangers train a bit this week, and I have to say that Steven Gerrard is a fantastic manager.
“The effort he puts into his players, there is a lot of professionalism there. So, to see our boys play well against them - admittedly we lost 2-0 - but I was so pleased with the way we played.
“There are always opportunities for a club like ours to get a little bit of help from clubs higher up in the football pyramid.
“I’m always chasing the title - I have for the last three years - and I will keep chasing that title. I’ll do everything I can to get that title.
“With John Dempster in place, and some of the quality we have in our youth system, and the players that he is signing, I think we’ve got a fair chance.
“How he [John Dempster] handled the youth team, and how they had such an unbelievable record, you have to give a man like that a chance.
“My relationship with John Dempster is the same as it is with all of my managers. I think he has as much of his heart in Mansfield Town as I and the directors have.”
The chairman also provided the latest updates on the Bishop Street Stand, and the plans to build a Hampton-by-Hilton Hotel on site at One Call Stadium.
“We have said that there is no point in developing Bishop Street until we get the numbers in the stands that require us to develop it,” he added.
“We’re getting close to it [having the attendances to develop]. If we got into League One, we’d be redeveloping it straight away.
“Our ambitions at the moment and my resources are being put into getting promotion. Then, once we’ve got promoted, the stand will be done and the hotel will be done.
“The hotel might start a little earlier, but we’re going to wait until we’re in League One for the stand.
“We’re looking at adding a FanZone somewhere. Sandy’s Bar gets very full on matchdays, so we’re looking to make it more comfortable for the fans.
“So, if it’s raining, there is plenty of place for everyone to be comfortable, have a drink and a bit to eat, before enjoying the match.”
Earlier this week, it was revealed that the Stags had won the race to sign prolific striker Nicky Maynard. John Radford says that manager John Dempster ‘had a lot to do’ with the former Bury marksman opting for Mansfield.
“On this signing [Maynard], John Dempster has done a lot of the work to get it over the line. And what an excellent player he is bringing into the club.
“There is a couple more [signings] to come at least. We’re only going to add quality to the squad.
“We’ll strengthen the squad but not with too many more numbers. There will possibly be another three people coming in.”
The chairman also discussed the Stags’ academy, which he believes is in the ‘best state it’s been’ since its formation.
“It [academy] is in an excellent stage. Richard Cooper [academy manager] is one of the most prolific professionals I’ve ever met.
“He keeps himself in order and knows exactly what is happening around the club. His heart is in the club as well.
“The academy is in the best state it’s been in. We’re trying to bring players from around our area into the academy, and hopefully get one or two of them through to our first team.
“Certainly, with John Dempster [as manager], I think there’s a fair chance [of youth players getting first team opportunities]. But they have to earn their stripes - there’s no easy membership to get into the first team of Mansfield Town.
“But I think that talent is starting to come through.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the chairman’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.
Mansfield Town stand to be demolished...if promotion is secured
chad.co.uk, by Sports Reporter
The derelict Bishop Street Stand at the One Call Stadium will not be redeveloped until the club achieve promotion or regular crowds of over 5,000 says chairman John Radford.
“The plans stay the same,” he said. “We've said there is no point in developing Bishop Street until we actually get the numbers in the stands that require us to develop it.
“We need average attendances above the 5,000 mark - but we are getting close.
“If we'd gone up to League One we would have been developing it straight away.
“But there's no point in us having a half-empty stadium.
“Our ambition - and our resources - at the moment are being put into getting promotion.
“Then, once we've been promoted, the stand will be done and the new hotel will be done.
“The hotel might start a little bit earlier, but we are certainly going to wait until we are in League One for the stand.”
John Radford expects League Two title challenge for Mansfield Town
chad.co.uk, by Sports Reporter
Mansfield Town chairman John Radford has the League Two title firmly in his target sights once again.
Stags have made two expensive summer signings in strike pair Andy Cook and Nicky Maynard to send out a statement of intent and Radford said: “I am always chasing the title - I have for the last three years - and I will keep chasing that title. I am going to do everything I can to get that title.
“I think with John Dempster in place as manager with a mixture of that young ambition he's got, some of the quality we've got in our youth system, and some of the players that he is signing, I think we should be in the top three favourites to win that title.”
Radford said he has no qualms about appointing Dempster as his new first team manager this summer.
“Just look how he handled the youth team and how they went on that unbeaten record,” he said.
“What a team - I think they let less than 12 goals in one season. You have got to give a chance to a man like that.
“My relationship with John Dempster is good - the same as it's been with all my managers.
“But as a chairman you can't get too close. If the club needs a change of manager then I am the man who is going to have to do it.
“I hope I don't have to do that with John Dempster. I think John has got as much of his heart in Mansfield Town as I have and the directors have.”
Radford then joked: “The worst thing is I have never seen John Dempster win a match!
“He only lost three matches the other season and I went to all three matches that he lost! Then I saw them beaten by Glasgow Rangers and I will be watching them against Swansea on Saturday. So I need to see him start winning games!”
Three more quality players set to come to Mansfield Town, says chairman John Radford
chad.co.uk, by Sports Reporter
Mansfield Town will sign up three more high quality players this summer according to chairman John Radford.
They have already spent big money on top class strikers Andy Cook and Nicky Maynard and Radford promised: “There is a couple more to come at least, possibly another three. But we are only going to add quality to the squad.
“Quality is our first priority as we want to strengthen the squad - not too many more in numbers.”
Radford said getting the Maynard deal over the line was down to the manager rather than himself and CEO Carolyn Radford.
“You will have to ask Nicky Maynard, but I think John Dempster had a lot to do with it,” said Radford.
“A lot of the time myself and Carolyn get involved.
“But give John Dempster his due, on this signing he did a lot of the work to get it over the line. And what an excellent player he is bringing to the club. He will be a welcome part of this family.”
Steven Gerrard hints that he could send Glasgow Rangers players to play for Mansfield Town
chad.co.uk, by Sports Reporter, 4 July 2019
The Rangers boss had a long conversation with Stags chairman John Radford after the Scottish giants beat Mansfield 2-0 in a behind-closed-doors friendly in Portugal last weekend and is hoping to establish a bond between the clubs.
“I have watched Rangers train all week and I will tell you now, Steven Gerrard is fantastic - the professionalism and effort he puts into his players,” said Radford.
“I know we lost the game, but I was so pleased to see our boys play well against them as well as adapt to the style of play as they have had to get themselves up to speed so quickly against a quality side like Rangers.”
On Gerrard, he said: “We had a good chat afterwards - you never know.
“There are always opportunities for a club like ours to get a little bit of help from clubs higher up the football pyramid.
“We are all part of the football family and Gerrard has named a few of his players he'd like us to have a look at, so we are looking.”
Radford added: “We are chasing our position the same as Gerrard is chasing his.
“We know where we want to be. I want us to be top of League Two, and I think they have ambitions to be top of the Scottish Premiership.”
Stags will end their ten-day Portugal training camp with a friendly against Swansea City on Saturday and Radford said: “We are looking forward to the start of the season, but we are just enjoying the pre-season at the moment and having a long break as a family.
“We enjoy the sunshine, but we enjoy our football as well.
“Portugal is an excellent place to come for a pre-season and an excellent country. A big thumbs up for Portugal so far.”
Mansfield Town chairman backs club's academy prospects under Richard Cooper
chad.co.uk, by Sports Reporter
With John Dempster now first team manager, Mansfield Town chairman John Radford believes the academy is in good hands under new manager Richard Cooper.
And he reiterated his ambition to see academy youngsters make it all the way through to the first team.
“The academy is in an excellent state. Richard Cooper is one of the most prolific professionals I have ever met,” said Radford.
“He keeps himself in order and he knows exactly what is happening around the club. And his heart is in then club as well - and his wife works for the club.
“I think the academy is in the best state it's ever been.”
He continued: “We have some new connections that are happening with the academy over the next year or so.
“We are trying to bring in players from around our area into the academy and hopefully we will get one or two of them through into our first team. That is the ambition of the academy.
“I understand a manager's position, but I would love to see them come through.
“When David Flitcroft was here the youth got more of a chance and they will certainly get that with John Dempster.
“But they have got to earn their stripes. There is no easy membership to get into the first team of Mansfield Town. You have got to be good at the game. But I think that talent is now starting to come through.”
New 'fan zone' to be installed for Mansfield Town supporters
chad.co.uk, by Sports Reporter
Mansfield Town supporters can look forward to a new 'fan zone' at the One Call Stadium this coming season.
This will be a newly created area to help ease the overcrowding in the Sandy's Bar & Kitchen on matchdays and allow fans to eat and drink in warmth and comfort.
“A fan zone is going to be put in place so there is a semi permanent area for them,” said chairman John Radford.
“The Sandy Pate Bar is full on match days, so we want to make things more comfortable for the fans, Then they can go out and enjoy the match day experience a lot better.
“If it's raining, we want plenty of room for everyone to comfortably be in there, have a drink, have something to eat, and then go on and enjoy the match.
“It will be somewhere warm for everyone to be while they wait for a match to kick off.”