The 2020/21 campaign has been the toughest yet for supporters of Mansfield Town Football Club, and ahead of the new campaign where fans can hopefully return – the Mansfield Matters Podcast are putting together of ‘Stags Stories’ to raise awareness of Mental Health, and raise money for EFL partner charity, Mind.
Usually the lows of football are confined to losing a game or seeing your favourite player sold, however the 2020/21 campaign, played through the coronavirus pandemic, taught us the real pain is not being able to go in person.
Going to support your team and club in person is one thing we sometimes take for granted, but the social element is important too – from creating long lasting friendships and relationships, to just passing the time of day over a common topic, those are the moments and memories that have been lost.
It’s no secret that men in particular don’t talk about their mental health, they don’t ask for help if and when they need it – with growing concerns over male suicide statistics, the Mansfield Matters Podcast wish to raise awareness, and support charity ‘Mind’ along the way.
In order to do so, we’re planning lots of different content including a LIVE event – but to kick things off, we’re continuing the popular ‘Stags Stories’ series, with the next batch of episodes all supporting the ‘Mind’ charity.
Guests will join our team to recall their time at the Stags, sharing stories from inside the dressing room of the moments we want to remember, and in some cases, forget! Also in this batch of episodes, we’ll touch upon the mental health side of the game, as we continue to raise awareness.
Episodes will be made available for FREE via the usual platforms, with listeners encouraged to give what they can through the ko-fi app, where supporters can give what they wish to the cause, starting at just £1 – with every penny going to the charity.
We’ll be setting funding targets too and adding rewards, such as extra content, or branded memorabilia for those who donate a certain amount, more details to be announced soon.
Details of who will be in the hot-seat for the episodes will be released in the coming weeks, we’re aiming to get a few recordings in the bag and start sharing episodes sometime in June!
If you wish to support the cause already, visit https://ko-fi.com/mansfieldmatters
Sky Bet League Two | Saturday 8th May 2021 – Vale Park [Behind Closed Doors]
…MORE! No, we’re not rewriting Oliver Twist, more is exactly what we want from the Mansfield Town who turned up and turned over Port Vale 3-0 yesterday, as the 2020-21 League Two season, came to a close.
The Stags put in the display that we’ve been begging for all season, slick football, good movement, pacey pressing, decent set plays and three well taken goals – typically though it should have been double figures for the second game running, but on the Brightside – no mistakes!
The performance certainly wet the appetite for next season with Clough going after eight targets, including Stephen Quinn. Clough also mentioned Pardington on a potential loan from Wolves again, I imagine as third choice keeper (Clough mentioned when he arrived that he likes to have three) but I don’t think the twenty year old will be part of the “top eight”.
I felt he played well and would be happy with his as third keeper, he didn’t have a lot to do but looked competent in commanding his area and collecting routine crosses – I’m glad, for him as much as us, that we got to see him start and given the chance to irradiate the memory of his substitute appearance against Salford.
Clough hinted in his post-match interview that the retained list would be out next week, with the players already knowing their future, three players started (excluding the on loan Pardington & Quinn) who are out of contract, James Clarke, Ryan Sweeney and Jordan Bowery – I hope both Clarke and Sweeney have been offered extensions (along with Stone, who was on the bench), Bowery, OK if he stays great, but I don’t see him being a regular starter so if there’s other offers for him, let him go.
Clarke was brilliant at right back and like I’ve said on the Podcast time and time again, should have been involved more this season – hopefully he’s done enough in training to impress Clough, because if I had to rank our right back options, he comes above Corey O’Keeffe who hasn’t been on the scene pretty much since Clough arrived.
As for the others, youngsters Keaton Ward and Jaden Charles, Ward could offer us some back up in midfield, perhaps a year with a little loan deal to develop early doors may work – whilst Charles, I’ve not really seen enough to make a fair judgement and there are better options out there to be a real first team contender, and Clough has already said he wants experience.
A good performance to round off the season, I can’t quite believe we’ve done a whole season on the sofa! Cross everything that next season we can return and watch a performance like yesterday on a more consistent basis.
Click HERE to read the clubs official match report.
STAGS: Jamie Pardington | James Clarke, James Perch, Ryan Sweeney, Stephen McLaughlin (Jaden Charles 82) | George Maris (Keaton Ward 82), Ollie Clarke © (Harry Charsley 75), Stephen Quinn (Jason Law 51), George Lapslie | Jordan Bowery (Jamie Reid 75), Tyrese Sinclair UNUSED SUBS: Aidan Stone, Kellan Gordon
Sky Bet League Two | Saturday 1st May 2021 – One Call Stadium [Behind Closed Doors]
As Mansfield Town conclude fixtures on their own patch for this season, Nigel Clough wanted to see his side give viewers a taste of what to expect next season – whilst they listened to the gaffer, they couldn’t quite resist throwing in a classic caper, stinking heavily of this season!
The “mix-up” between Sweeney and Stone in the 51st minute was typical of the Stags this season, a farcically soft goal to give away with a complete lack of idea and communication. It’s a goal too which left fans divided over who to blame, and sadly with both out of contract in the summer, it won’t have done them any favours as Clough comments “ I think we’re about done with [extending] contracts”
Personally, I’d be very frustrated to see both go but that is very much a discussion for another time – it’s very easy to talk about and focus on the negatives of the goal, but let’s focus on the positives, scoring four goals at home and getting hungry young players onto the pitch.
In true Mansfield fashion it should have been about ten by half-time but we all know that we’ve struggled to show a ruthless streak this campaign, something Clough will be working hard on putting right – however our build up play was very impressing, and we pressed with real intent and purpose, if we can continue to build on that with the right additions, I’m very much looking forward to seeing that in person next season.
As for the youngsters, Keaton Ward got his first start and looked very comfortable in the middle of the park – we should certainly look at developing him next season and extending his deal. Tyrese Sinclair bags another goal, we don’t really need to talk about him really – pre-season will be his time to really develop and push on more, whilst off of the bench came James Clarke to show us exactly why he should have started more games this season.
Clarke was fantastic last season for us and I personally think would have really developed this season had he been given game time, he’s another out of contract and for me, would be a great asset in and around the first team to push Kellan Gordon, or even more the latter forward.
We also saw a brief glimpse of Jaden Charles for ten-ish minutes, perhaps we’ll see a little more of him next week at Port Vale, where for me, I wouldn’t mind at all if we were to start all of our younger players and give them the opportunity to go and earn a deal and a place in Clough’s plans next season.
A comfortable win, it should have been more and we should have kept a clean sheet – but that’s the story of this season, one more game and we can put it behind us and look forward to a proper football season!
Click HERE to read the clubs official match report.
STAGS: Aidan Stone | Kellan Gordon (James Clarke 73), James Perch ©, Ryan Sweeney, Stephen McLaughlin | George Maris, Keaton Ward (Jordan Bowery 73), Stephen Quinn (Jaden Charles 82), George Lapslie (Harry Charsley 82) | Tyrese Sinclair (Jason Law 82), Jamie Reid UNUSED SUBS: Jamie Pardington, Jake Wright
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