BISHOP RETIRES, AND JOINS ACADEMY SETUP + HEARN
instagram Neal Bishop nbisho, Fri 21 Aug 2020
I can honestly say, being a professional footballer has been a absolute honour and a privilege. But now it’s at a end. I’ve decided to retire from professional football.
I’ve loved my time being a footballer and have been so proud to represent the clubs I have, I can honestly say I’ve given everything I had at all the clubs I’ve represented. Sometimes it was good enough, and plenty of times it wasn’t!, but I leave professional football able to look myself in the mirror knowing I gave absolutely everything every time I took to the pitch.
To come from Sunday morning pub football to play in The Championship and every division in between is something I never thought I’d do. I’m eternally grateful to everyone who’s given me the opportunity to fufill a boyhood dream.
I’m still passionate about the game I will keep playing at some level (if someone will have me!!) and can’t wait to get into coaching, as I feel I still have plenty to offer on both counts.
Finally, thanks to my family, who’ve backed me unconditionally every step of the way, supporters, owners, management and team mates I’ve encountered along the way, it’s been an absolute blast!.
Former midfielder joins academy setup
mansfieldtown.net, Mon 24 Aug 2020
We are pleased to announce that former Mansfield midfielder Neal Bishop has joined the club’s academy setup at Brooksby Melton College, as our new Elite Football Development head coach.
Bishop, who made 78 appearances for the amber and blue over two seasons, announced his retirement from football last Friday.
After recently completing his UEFA A Licence coaching badge, the 39-year-old has joined the Stags’ academy set-up at Brooksby Melton College, and will oversee 16 to 19-year-old footballers who are completing the Elite Football Development programme.
Bishop says that he is ‘desperate’ to start his coaching career.
“Coaching was always something that appealed to me and I started doing my badges years ago. I’ve just completed my [UEFA] A Licence, so it’s all fallen into place,” he began.
“I can’t wait to get my teeth into coaching as I’m passionate about developing people - I’m desperate to get started.”
The former Blackpool midfielder says he plans to call on his experiences as a footballer to develop young players, having amassed over 600 career appearances.
“There are two under-19 [development] teams down there [Brooksby Melton College],” he added. “The lads are doing education there as they’re just starting college.
“They’re doing a BTEC along with their football, so half the time they’ll probably be in the classroom.
“It’ll be me and Jack Thomas [former Mansfield midfielder] down there. I’m passionate about developing the lads as footballers and as people.
“I’ve played in every division from the Championship so I think I have a wealth of experience. After a good training session I’ve always made notes of it and I’ve coaching books at home.
“I’m like a kid at Christmas. I can’t wait to get started and have so many ideas. There are some great coaches within the academy and I’m eager to learn.
“In football I’ve had ups and downs - there aren’t a lot of emotions I haven’t experienced as a player.
“People will have seen me as a player and think I’m quite aggressive, but as a coach I want to be open and want the lads to feel like they can come to me.
“I love chatting about the game and passing on my experience. The game has been relatively good to me and I want to be able to give something back.”
Bishop says that the youngsters at Brooksby Melton College are in good hands, as the coaches are ‘passionate about developing people and players.’
“We’re open, friendly and welcoming. There’s a good group of lads there. If you come down and don’t like it for whatever reason, at least you’ve got a couple of decent football sessions in you.
“Anyone who is thinking about doing something like this, get in touch and you won’t regret it.
“The coaches here are passionate about developing people and players.”
Hearn appointed as assistant professional development coach
mansfieldtown.net, Mon 24 Aug 2020
We are pleased to announce the promotion of Liam Hearn to the position of assistant professional development coach within our academy.
The former Stags’ striker, 34, was previously head of performance within our youth structure.
He will assist lead professional development coach Mike Whitlow in the advancement of our under-18s’ players.
Academy manager Richard Cooper said: “Since we have acquired our Category 3 status, we knew we had to appoint an assistant professional development coach and Liam was in our thoughts straight away.
“Since his time with us he has showed a real passion for coaching. His attention to detail is fantastic when communicating with the players.
“His relationship with Mike Whitlow will be really important moving forward, as we look to continue to further develop our own players.
“Mike is the perfect mentor for any coach coming into our building.
“We are continually looking to strengthen our Academy and the staffing structure is no different.”
Lead professional development coach Mike Whitlow said: “I would like to welcome Liam to his new role, during an exciting time at Mansfield Town Academy.
“Liam not only brings his vast experience as a player but also his passion for the game and his enthusiasm in the development of young players.
“I have had the privilege of seeing Liam work with young players. His attention to planning and the finer details he provides to the players are second-to-none.
“He is a calm and approachable coach with excellent communication skills on and off the football field.
“I’m really looking forward to working with Liam on a day-to-day basis, seeing the players learning and developing during their journey as a scholar.”
Latest | August 2020