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Archived News from July 2019

12th July 2019 19:57

Stags sign versatile midfielder
mansfieldtown.net, Tuesday 09 July 2019

We are delighted to announce the signing of versatile midfielder Dion Donohue on a two-year deal.

The 25-year-old most recently spent two seasons with Portsmouth, making 50 appearances in total for Pompey, with most of those outings coming in Sky Bet League One.

Donohue began his career with Bodedern Athletic in Wales, before moving to Everton as a youngster, spending six years in the Toffees’ academy.

Following his time with Everton, the midfielder spent time with Welsh outfits Porthmadog, Holyhead Hotspur and Caernarfon Town, before moving back to England with Sutton Coldfield Town.


In 2015, Donohue impressed on trial with then-League One side Chesterfield, where he was able to earn a professional contract.

He would become an important member of the Chesterfield squad, making 62 appearances in two seasons for the Spireites. In May 2017, he was voted as their Players’ Player of the Season.

In August 2017, Donohue would move to Portsmouth for an undisclosed fee, helping Pompey to respective eighth and fourth-place finishes in Sky Bet League One.

Manager John Dempster said: “Dion is somebody who can play in midfield - he’s a very good footballer with a good left foot - but he also provides us with competition and cover at left-back.

“When he got his move to Portsmouth from Chesterfield, he was playing as a left-back, which shows the quality he has.

“He is someone that can pass the ball well and he has great set play delivery. He’s someone that brings something slightly different to the squad that we’ve already got.”


New signing Dion Donohue playing it safe over fitness at Mansfield Town after nightmare season
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

After a nightmare season with illness and injury, new Mansfield Town signing Dion Donohue will not be rushing to play before he is fully fit.

But the former Portsmouth and Chesterfield utility man believes he will be ready in time for the big kick-off in just over three weeks - and can’t wait.

Donohue, 25, chose to sign for Stags over offers from League One clubs this week and wants to quickly erase the memories of last season and help his new club to promotion glory.

“I had glandular fever towards the start of pre-season last year,” he said.


“I don’t know if you know anyone who’s had it but it’s not a nice thing to have. I think that then had a knock-on effect as I was trying to catch everyone up.

“I had missed out on the pre-season and I was trying to rush back. But every time I came back I got thrown straight back into the team.

“Obviously I want to be playing as much as possible but I think I tried to do a bit too much too soon which resulted in me breaking down a couple of times.

“Thankfully I am over that now and I am raring to go.”

He continued: “I feel fit now, but the last thing I want to do is rush straight back into it.

“I have had a conversation with the physio and the manager and the main thing for me is to make sure when I do get back that I am 100 per cent and don’t break down again. But I am champing at the bit to get going.

“The next couple of weeks are going to be massive.

“We have got just over three weeks until the season starts and I have no doubt that when those three weeks are over I will be ready to go.”

Stags boss John Dempster said: “We will start to build his fitness up from today and that will be a gradual process.

“We don’t want him to pick up any of the injuries he suffered last season, which were too prominent if we’re being honest. He has had his medical.

“Our physio has been very thorough with him and we are confident, when we get him fully fit in the next couple of weeks, he will play a big part for us.

“He will be straight into it, but it’s important we build the load up gradually so when it comes to the start of the season he is 100 per cent fit.”


New signing eager to get started

New signing Dion Donohue says he will add ‘versatility’ to the Stags’ squad, and cannot wait to 'get going' with his new Mansfield teammates.

It was announced on Tuesday afternoon that the Stags had secured the signing of the highly-rated midfielder on a two-year deal.

The 25-year-old - who can operate at left-back or in central midfield - confirmed that manager John Dempster will primarily utilise him as a midfielder, but that he can also play in ‘a number of positions.’

“I think I’ll offer a bit of versatility - I can play in a number of positions,” he said. “I’ve had a quick chat with the manager [John Dempster], and I think midfield is where he wants me to play.

“I think I can add some passing ability and hopefully can bring a bit of steel to the midfield as well.

“I feel fit now. I’ve had a conversation with the physio [Tom Whittamore] and the manager [John Dempster], and the main thing is that when I do come back [into training], I am 100 percent.


“I can't wait to get going. The next couple of weeks are going to be massive.

“I’ve got no doubt that by the time the three weeks [before the start of the season] are over, I’ll be ready to go.”

Donohue added that despite offers from League One clubs, the prospect of a promotion push with the Stags was the main attraction that made him sign for the amber and blue.

“It [deal] has been in the pipeline for a couple of days, so I’m glad to be here and get it all signed.

“I had a chat with the manager [John Dempster] on the phone, and I liked all of his ideas and the conversations we had about how he wanted to play.

“We [Mansfield] have been quite unlucky in the past couple of seasons, just missing out on promotion. I think that this year, there’ll be no doubt that we’ll be pressing for that [promotion].

“There were a couple of offers from League One clubs, but I wanted to come a bit closer to home and I liked the prospect of a promotion challenge next season.

“I want to play as high as possible, so the first goal for me here is to achieve promotion. I think that’s what everyone at the club wants. We have a great chance of getting that this year.

“I know Willem [Tomlinson] from previous experiences, and I’ve played against a few of the lads as well.

“I know that there is quality throughout the team, and I can’t wait to join them.”

The 25-year-old reflected on his recent season with Portsmouth, adding his belief that a ‘fresh start’ with Mansfield gives him something to be ‘excited for.’

“I had glandular fever towards the start of [last] pre-season, which is not a nice thing to have.

“I think that had a knock-on effect, as in I was trying to catch everyone up and rush back. Every time I came back, I went straight back into the team.

“Obviously I want to play as much as possible, but at times I think I tried to do a bit too much. Thankfully, I’m over that now, and I’m raring to go.

“They [Portsmouth] had an option of [extending my contract for] a further 12 months. I had a conversation with the manager, and he said he wanted to take it up.

“I asked him if he’d rather not take it up, because I wanted to move closer to home and I think I needed a fresh start to re-energise myself and give myself something to get excited for.”

iFollow Stags subscribers can watch our latest signing’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow.


New boy Dion Donohue can add steel to Mansfield Town’s midfield
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Dion Donohue believes he can add extra steel to the Mansfield Town midfield as well as excellent passing ability for the coming season.

Donohue, 25, became Stags’ fourth summer signing this week and, although he will offer vital defensive cover down the left, it is midfield where he could make his mark.

“I think I will offer a bit of versatility. I’ve played in a number of positions,” he said.

“I have had a good chat with the manager and I think midfield is where he wants me to play, where I can add some passing ability and hopefully I can also bring a bit of steel to the midfield as well.


“Obviously you want to play as high as possible, so the first goal here for me is to achieve promotion.

“That’s what everyone at the club wants and I think we have a great chance of that this year.”

Wanting to move nearer his family in North Wales and after a season of illness and injury, Donohue was allowed to leave Portsmouth, despite Pompey intending to take up their year’s option on him at the end of a two-year contract.

“It was mixed emotions to leave as it’s a massive club,” he said.

“It is a brilliant club and I was delighted to go there.

“But last year I had a season hampered with injuries, so my time there didn’t end as well as I’d hoped. I still have absolutely no regrets about having gone there.

“It was a great move for me at the time.

“Portsmouth had an option on a further 12 months. I had a conversation with the manager and he was saying he wanted to take it up.

“But then I told him I would rather he didn’t as I wanted to move closer to home, and I also thought I needed a fresh start to re-energise myself and give me something to get excited about again. So I am glad they agreed to let me go.”

Donohue said the travelling did take its toll at the south coast club.

“The only good thing is there is an airport at Southampton so we did a lot of flying into Manchester, though the journey home was always coach, so that was a long journey,” he said.

“But it is a massive club and I am proud to be able to say I have played for them.”

Donohue paid a visit to the One Call Stadium last year and was impressed with what he saw.

“I came here last year,” he said. “We had a game with Portsmouth and Mansfield let us use their facility to train.

“The pitch is lovely, the stadium is nice. It’s a great club, great people, so I am really glad to have signed.

“I know Willem (Tomlinson) already through previous experiences and I have obviously played against a few of the lads so I know there is quality throughout the team. I can’t wait to join them.”

Boss John Dempster is certainly delighted to win the race for Donohue’s signature.

“Like a lot of the players we have been speaking to, there are quite a few clubs chasing them,” he said.

“Dion is someone who was at a successful League One side last year - a big club. So he knows what it’s all about with demands from supporters and the ambitions of this club.

“Having spoken to him he is looking to kick on going forward and, if he fulfils his potential, it would not surprise me this time next year if there is even more clubs interested in him.”

He added: “Dion is left-footed and can play in the middle of the pitch and also at left back.

“When he originally got his move to Portsmouth playing for Chesterfield he played a season at left back there and performed very well.

“So he is someone that gives us strength in the middle of the pitch and also down the left.

“He will hopefully do a little bit of both for us. The key to the signing was the flexibility he will give us as you don’t know what’s round the next corner.

“The fact he can play in both positions kind of tells you he is a good footballer.”


Former Portsmouth midfielder Dion Donohue completes Mansfield switch
Portsmouth News, by WILL ROONEY, Tuesday 09 July 2019

The former Pompey midfielder has signed a two-year deal at Field Mill.

As revealed by The News, the Stags and League One side Fleetwood were interested in the Welshman.

Donohue was released from Fratton Park this summer after the Blues chose not to take the club option of an additional 12 months on his contract.


The 25-year-old joined Pompey from Chesterfield for an undisclosed fee in 2017.

He made 47 appearances for Kenny Jackett’s side - but only 14 of them arrived last term.

Donohue was plagued with various injuries which meant he was unable to have a real impact in the failed League One promotion push.

However, the ex-Everton youth player will be hoping to make a swift return to the third tier at Mansfield after they suffered League Two play-off semi-final defeat at the hands of Newport.


Earlier stories

Portsmouth made late decision to release Dion Donohue - but injuries ultimately cost him
Portsmouth News, by WILL ROONEY, Thursday 23 May 2019

Kenny Jackett left the decision to release Dion Donohue as late a possible but admitted: Injuries cost him.

The Welshman has been released by Pompey after the club decided not to take up the option of an additional 12 months on his two-year contract.


The 2017 summer arrival from Chesterfield was held in high regard by the Blues boss and his team-mates.

After an encouraging maiden season - operating mainly as a left-back - Donohue’s second campaign at Fratton Park was ravaged by various injuries.

Earmarked to play a prominent role in central midfield, the 25-year-old made just 13 appearances during the failed League One promotion push.

Jackett revealed he delayed his decision on Donohue’s future for as long as he could.

But the cultured left-footer’s setbacks meant the Pompey boss couldn't extend his stay.

Jackett said: ‘Dion is a really talented player. Certainly in his first season he showed a flexibility down the left-hand side.

‘We felt he could really settle into that central-midfield role this season and give us a range of passing, which at times we haven’t had.

‘Ultimately, injuries cost him. Even in the last month of the season, he had two groin injuries.

‘We were hoping he’d perhaps get back for the Sunderland play-off game when Lee Brown and Brandon Haunstrup were out.

‘His preferred position was central midfield and that didn’t quite happen this season.

‘Ultimately, because of that, we have decided to let him go.

‘There’s some frustration this year about not getting him out on the pitch more.

‘We left the decision open right to the end, definitely.

‘Even then I was open. Anton Walkes did a fine job (at Sunderland) but even in the second-last game of the season at the Stadium of Light he would have played.

‘Late in the game, he could have even came on and put a few crosses in.

‘It’s something I wanted to keep open because there was so much riding on the season.

‘I was open-minded right to the end. Then, ultimately, perhaps a fresh start might be best for him.’

Jackett pinpointed Donohue’s performance at Norwich in the 1-0 FA Cup third-round victory as a reason why he delayed his decision.

The boss added: 'It was a tough call when someone has had the injuries he’s had this season because somewhere along the line he can come through it.

‘I think he’s a very talented player - look at his game at Norwich.

‘He came out of nowhere to play left-back when Brown was out with a hamstring injury.

‘He had a terrific game there and then you go back to the season before.

‘I always felt who could go into the holding-midfield role but he couldn't quite get going and we wish him all the best.’

Kenny Jackett: My quandary over Dion Donohue’s Portsmouth future
Portsmouth News, by NEIL ALLEN, Thursday 18 April 2019

Dion Donohue’s injury record is under scrutiny as Kenny Jackett agonises whether the midfielder has a Pompey future.

The former Chesterfield player is out of contract in June - yet the Blues possess a 12-month option.


Jackett remains an admirer of Donohue’s ability, although the 25-year-old’s ongoing injury issues represent a major concern.

A succession of niggling problems have this season restricted the left footer to just 13 outings, with a groin complaint presently sidelining him.

As a consequence, it has been a frustrating personal campaign for the Welshman, who has totalled 48 appearances since arriving in August 2017.

And Jackett admitted Donohue’s injury forecast will dictate whether the option is activated.

The Blues boss said: ‘We will see about Dion, it is the very near future now because we only have a few weeks left.

‘We are not far away, it’s not something we will announce yet, we will see what the situation is.

‘It has been a frustrating season for him - but we all know what a capable player he is.

‘In the Norwich game he put in a terrific performance. Obviously they have been few and far between this year.

‘But whenever he has trained he looks like one of the better players. He looks very capable when training in a group, and that has earned him a starting place.

‘The injuries are a concern, yes. Obviously Dion’s a very capable player, it has been tough on the injuries this year - and that’s a good assessment of where it is.

‘You have to look forward and see the reasons for it, but in the end get an assessment of what you think is going to happen next year going forward. Is that an area which is going to clear up?

‘He is quite a flexible player as well, so having him in your squad where he can play full-back, midfield if you need something wide left, or different formations. He can cover a couple of positions.

‘People do come through injuries, definitely, and we have to assess that properly to make sure we get our decision right.’



Latest | July 2019