Thursday, 9 June 2011

Cox Captures Two ‘New’ Faces.

Stags manager Paul Cox has once again dipped into the transfer market to boost his squad ahead of the 2011-12 season, just when I was in the middle of a rather epic end of season review too! Ah well, plenty of time for that over the weekend.
There has been a buzz around various message boards and what have you that the next two additions would be ones to provide some more sparkling positivity around the club, on reflection I’m not entirely sure things have gone to plan, the mood seems like throwing confetti over a bride after she’s been ditched for a man at the altar.
I should highlight now that I am in no way knocking or slagging off the two signings made today, I’m just making an observation of what people seem to be saying.
Matt Bell
The 19 year old defender joins us from Port Vale, however his vale experiences came in the reserve set up, failing to make the first team during the last campaign. Left back is an area we need to seriously strengthen & Matt’s lack of first team football does worry me slightly, however I think Paul Cox will be bringing in another left back which will provide some much needed competition and hope everyone involved.
Judging a player by a lack of first team experience would be wrong of me, every player has to start somewhere so for now I say welcome to the club and enjoy your football, I’m looking forwards to watching Matt play, I just hope he doesn’t become another victim of the Mansfield Town left back curse!
Anthony Howell
Anthony’s name will be familiar to stags fans, having spent a brief spell at the club under the leadership of the lesser twin, originally signing in January 2009. Anthony has since played his football for BSBP newcomers Alfreton Town & was part of the side which lifted the BSBN title last season and really tested Duncan Russell’s stags in the FA Trophy 3rd round. The 25 year olds arrival has caused the concern to return to the message boards etc, with many saying this capture lacks ambition.
I’ll admit to being a little deflated by the addition, mainly because I’ve been daft and brought into the rumour mill, expecting a league 1 player to arrive. It’s a summer hype thing, you can’t really help it!
Again I’ll reserve judgement on how Howell performs, he hardly got a fair crack of the whip under the lesser twin and having spent two seasons at a side challenging & eventually achieving promotion, Howell may well have grown as a player.
The only worry for me is, where will he fit in? Will he get in the side ahead of Bolland, Stevenson & last year’s skipper Murray? Anthony can play all across the midfield so will provide healthy competition for all places.
Alfreton have a buzz about him, so perhaps we should be a little patient, sit back and watch what happens, this signing may not be so bad after all, providing we do actually boost the squad with some more senior & experienced players.
It will be interesting to see who is involved with the next few deals. Welcome back to Field Mill Anthony, let the football do the talking.
Are we disheartened because we’ve signed two relatively unknown players, are we disheartened because of our previous managers transfer dealings, are we disheartened because we’re attracting players from a lower league or from reserve set ups or are we disheartened because of the one evil in life – money, by which I mean is the fact Mr Radford admitted our budget would be ‘up there with the best of them’ making us a little greedy?
Remember this is not just a paint job, we’re stripping the plaster too, we’re down to the brickwork and have just found a massive hole which needs filling, it’s disheartening but in the face of adversity, we pull together once more and turn the crumbling old shack into something brand new and something to be proud of – keep the faith & keep your eyes peeled for the aforementioned ‘end of season review’
Current Squad:
Alan Marriott
Adam Murray
Adam Smith
Tom Naylor
Louis Briscoe
Paul Connor
Rhys Day
Conor Higginson
Lee Stevenson (New signing – Eastwood)
Lindon Mikele (New signing – Eastwood)
Paul Bolland (New signing – Macclesfield)
Matt Bell (New signing – Port Vale [Reserves])
Anthony Howell (New signing – Alfreton)  

Going: (Including those that we’re let go before Paul Cox’s appointment)

Kyle Nix
Tyrone Thompson
Niall O’Rafferty
Mark Preece
Paul Stonehouse
Ashley Cain
Stevie Istead
Steve Foster
Kevin Sandwith
Neil Collett
Ben Turner
Luke Medley
Danny Mitchley
Dan Spence
Gary Silk
Paul Hall
Steve Bonnington

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