AFC Mansfield - Can we become bigger than Mansfield FC?


Nov 2, 2017

Can we become bigger than Mansfield FC?

At the moment, there is only one recognizable team in Mansfield which, as we all know is League two's Mansfield FC. But what if there was two? Bristol has two teams, Manchester has two teams, so why can't Mansfield? Follow me as we see how long it will take to become bigger than Mansfield FC.


A brief overview

I have signed the contract and I am now AFC Mansfield newest manager!

At £525 p/w, I am extremely happy!!

We start in the Northern Premier D1 East, 4 Division's below Mansfield who are currently 3rd favorites to be promoted to League 1. Below are the the competitions that we are competing in with the boards expectations.

Time to meet the squad!!

A squad of 18, mixture of both old and young. Looking at the squad, it looks like I will want to focus centrally due to the 4 good midfielders we already have. Players like Jamie McGuire and Jonathan D'Laryea will hopefully be a solid 2 in font of the back 4. However, the lack of central defenders is concerning and dipping into the market is going to be a must. Lastly Grant Ryan is the only recognizable striker so will have bring in another key striker to play along side him.

And finally, the kit/facilitates and finances.

So there is an overview of the club and what we got to work with. In my next update, I will of hopefully bring in some defenders and a striker or 2 and show you our pre season results.
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Nov 2, 2017

In's & Out's | Pre-Season & August

It's been a busy period since the last update with a new staff member and 8 new players coming into the squad. Below are the new members.


Firstly, the newest staff member. Please welcome my new assistant manager Jon Ford!

The 50 year old will be helping me along this journey. Jon has played senior football with the likes of Swansea, Barnet Bradford and
Gillingham and his experience will provide essential in the coming seasons.


The 1st signing made was 21 year-old striker Liam O'Neill. Signed on a 2 year deal, the 21 year old should be a key member to AFC Mansfield's attack. O'Neill comes to the club after being let go by Crewe.

The 2nd out of the 8 signings is Jordan Latham, a 19 year old keeper who was out of contract at Curzon Ashton. Jordan should be able to learn a lot at AFC Mansfield and will be in regular competition with experienced keeper Jason White.

The 3rd signing is Jack Bardley, a brilliant young center back who has signed a two year deal with the club. Coming through the ranks at FC Halifax, the 21 year old should be a key member.

Andy Pearson became the 4th signing under my reign as manager of AFC Mansfield. A first teamer, the 28 year old can play CB and as a defensive midfielder and will be a excellent backup for the team.

Another 28 year old player joins the club! David Hutton becomes signing number 5, a versatile midfielder who can play left, right and center. He has had experience all over the Non-League pyramid and brings in a wealth of experience.

Due to Jordan Annable (our RB) leaving, a replacement was needed. Callum Bullock takes his position at RB. Callum signed a 2 year deal on £110 p/w and will be another key member. Once a Manchester City academy player, the young RB will need to show this season why he has such high potential.

Luke Clark becomes signing number 7 and joins on a 1 year deal. A first team player,the 24 year old has high pace and fitness levels to last the whole season. Having played League One football for Preston, this could be a good club to revamp his career.

Last but not least, signing number 8 - George Cleet! The 21 year old played Vanarama National League North football with Worcester and will hopefully be another excellent asset to AFC Mansfield.

We did however have 4 departures from the club (2 permanent and 2 loans). Below is an overview of our transfer business.


For pre-season, I will give you a quick overview of the results.

An average pre-season with some lower division teams. Stafford was the main test in our schedule.

Once Pre season finished, the season preview was released with the predictions for this season. Have a look below.

Morpeth and Cleethorpes are predicted to be the strongest two teams while Stocksbridge are firm favorites to go down.


AFC Mansfield started of August with 5 games (4 in the league, 1 in the FA CUP). With 2 wins and 2 draws in the league it's a good start as we remain undefeated. Liam O'Neill already showing his qualities with 3 goals in 4 league appearances. Another stand out player this month has been Jonathan D'Laryea.

The FA CUP game was a classy performance against a poor Romford site. The draw for the 1st round has been completed and we get...

Barnton away, a team who compete in the North West Counties League Division One South.

Finally, a look at the table.

So far so good. 8 points from a possible 12 to me is a perfect start. With a load of new players coming in, it's going to take time for them to properly gel but so far things are looking good.

See you all in the next update, thanks for reading.


Nov 2, 2017


September has shown that when we show up to games we can win against anyone in this league. Having said that, when we don't... well you will find out.

Firstly we had a new player come into the team.

A new striker in Jordan Jowers who should be a key first team player. Having came through the ranks at Middlesbrough he never made a first team appearance for them. However, let's hope be becomes part of the story at AFC Mansfield.

As well as a new arrival, we had 2 departures.

Travis cork wasn't getting a game time so he goes out on loan till the end of the season.

Sam Morris who made 1 appearance for the club also went out on loan to get some first team football.

And lastly, a nice little present from the board... A cash injection!!

Matches + More!

September has been a "meh" kind of month with good and bad results.

The early goal really set the mood for the whole game. No attacking threat at all during the game as we fall to our first defeat of the season.

And our RB is out for a lengthy period. GREAT!!!!!

We go away to top of the league and played some unreal football. I would of been happy with 1 let alone 3 points! Liam O'Neill gets another goal to add to his tally.

We go to the FA CUP now and WHAT A DISASTER THIS WAS. Switched up a few players and got some youngsters in who just didn't perform. On the plus note, we did come out fighting second half and got the 2 goals to draw level however, the result means it's another fixture to our schedule that we do not need.

If we win the reply we get a home time to a good AFC Hornchurch side.

Like I said previously it was another extra game we didn't need and as you can see, an extra 30 minutes we didn't need. D'Laryea bailing us out to progress.

Not what we need right now. Mark Dudley our main LB is getting interest from other clubs...

A home draw in the FA Trophy.

And another departure. Jason White was just not getting any game time so decided to move on.

Mark Dudley has remained loyal. Fantastic news for the club.

We finally go back to the league. A pretty drab match and a 0-0 scoreline is fair in my eyes.

Back to the cup now as we face a really strong Hornchurch site. Chris Dickson, a veteran at non league scores the all important goal to crash us out of the cub.

Another draw, another cup. Not to worried about this competition.

WE GOT AWAY WITH THIS. 2-0 within 10 minutes and we looked like we were going to cruise to victory. 2 quick fire goals for Lincoln put them right back into the game. A soft penalty and an insurance goal at the end gave us to be honest the undeserved 3 points.

Another departure. A player who I thought was going to be a key member for our squad never really shined and it was a shame that we had to release him.

However, we bring in one **** of a player. Jamie Eaton-Collins joins us on a 2 year deal and looks to be an unbelievable capture.

MY GOD. Another poor game where we didn't turn up and Ossett United get their first win of the season.


We sit in the final play off position. September was overall a disappointing month and I'm looking to change things around tactic wise over the next few games.

Finally, is there anything you guys would like to see? Please leave a reply below. Thanks for reading.​


Nov 2, 2017

Season 1 - PT4
Nothing has changed...

Another set of disappointing results has really shown the lack of consistency we have in this squad. I'm still putting this down to early days and the players still settling in but I can't keep holding onto this excuse..


The first game was in the Northern Premier League Challenge Cup R1 (that's a long name for a competition). We go 1 behind before a brace from Liam puts us into the next round.

Back to the league and we get a good win at home vs Pickering Town who are near the bottom.

Interest again on Mark Dudley this time from Kings Langley who are in a division above.

THE COMEBACK KINGS! 3-0 down at HT and I was fuming. A quick 15 minute rage turned into an amazing second half with Liam again scoring the equalizer in the 93rd minute.

Another disappointing game. Another 3 goals conceded.

Again Mark Dudley has remained loyal with the club.

What appears to be one of the last signings we make for a while (not including Loans) we welcome Liam Cooke. The youngster has used up all our wage budget by signing a 9 month deal on £170 p/w.

Never got going against Morpeth Town. Another 3 goals conceded, something needs working on here.

To top of a disappointing performance, one of our key players went off with a groin strain and will be out of action for 5-7 weeks. Gutting.

Cruising first half and being 2-1 up I told the boys to keep it tight. Well, they didn't. Another defeat, another 3 goals conceded. I'm starting to worry big time here.

The Table.

We slip to 9th, 4 points of the play off's. We need a big improvement from the lads in the next coming weeks to not only improve our positioning in the table but the GD as well.


I started this save because I wanted to see if I could get AFC Mansfield to the same level as Mansfield FC. So I had a look to see how they were getting on...

Well this could take longer then originally expected.....

See you in the next update.​


Nov 2, 2017

Season 1 - PT5
The worst run of my career.

Results were not going in our favor. The last four games we conceded a least 3 goals in each game and I needed to rectify that. Throughout this save I played very narrow football (4-2-2-2). It worked well within the first 5 or 6 games but has gone down hill since then. I had to switch it up and started to try a 4-1-3-2, this is how it went down...


A 2 week break gave the players a good rest as we travel away for our next game. However it ends in defeat but we don't concede 3 goals. We held on well during the game however a scrappy goal for Brighouse got them the 3 points.

A defeat again and going back to looking shaky at the back. Tried to play counter attacking football in this game however it never seemed to work. Jordan Jowers scoring our goal.

A POINT! We picked up our first point in 5 matches as we draw 0-0 in a tightly contested match vs Spalding United.

Another 0-0. We are now not conceding which is great! We just need to learn how to put the ball in the back of the net.

Another game without a win and another game without a goal. A 1-0 defeat to mid-table side Cleethorpes curtsy to Ben Clappison wonder strike.

Mark Dudley is attracting interest again from other clubs and so is surplus to requirements player Julian Lawrence....

Having only played a handful of games for me I'm not to concerned if he leaves.

No win again and no goals again! That's four games without scoring...

Not a record I'm particularly happy with...Nearly two months of football without a win.. OUCH!

Our star man at the start of the season who was scoring goals left, right and center is now making headlines but for the wrong reasons..

We go away to top of the league Frickley and.. 3 POINTS! A WIN! We got a questionable penalty in the 3rd minute and just parked the bus for the rest of the game. A great great result and which we can hopefully capitalize with.

Much better...

The Table.

We slip all the way down to 15th and 12 points of 5th. We have another 17 games to play this season so lets hope we can push on now and climb up the table. It's going to be difficult but hopefully the players pull through.​


Nov 2, 2017

Season 1 - PT6

We are finally working as a team.

After the Frickley result we had a good rest due to the postponed fixture vs Loughborough Dynamo on New Years Day. So, 2019... How did we get on?


Like I said, we start of 2019 with a P due to a waterlogged pitch.

A day later and Julian Lawrence joins Wroxham on a permanent deal.

Our first game of 2019 finishes 1-1 against Ossett United. Tom Greaves scores against us again.

We play the Postponed game and get a cracking 3 points. And Charlie Dawes finally scores after being brought on in the 55th minute. Only disappointing thing was Callum Bullock getting a second yellow.

Eleven games without goal...

Another away game and another 3 points. Dawes scoring again. Breaking his duck has really pushed him on. Liam O'Neill also finally scores!

After thirteen hours Liam finally gets his goals.

A not so comfortable 2-1 win against bottom side Gresley. It's another 3 points however and we are now starting to climb the table.

These are the records we want to be setting...

Charlie Dawes finally starts scoring for the club and then... VCD become interested in my striker.

Another 2-1 win. Very comfortable first half performance against a strong Pontefract Collieries side. A nervous 10 minutes did follow when they got 1 goal back in the 80th minute.

Another 3 points!!! All 4 goals from the match coming within the first half with Dawes getting on the score sheet again. That's 5 wins on the bounce now!

A home game against bottom side Lincoln United ends in a 0-0 draw. To say we should of scored 7 against them is an understatement as our winning streak comes to an end.

Another draw but another game where we could of won. We looked shaky at the back in this game.. lets hope we don't go back to our earlier season form.

10 games unbeaten. A lot better than 10 games without a win!

The Table.

From 15th to 9th and now only 6 points of 5th. It's going to be a really interesting 9 games.​


Nov 2, 2017

Season 1 - PT7
Don't bottle it now boys!

After our ten match unbeaten run, we find ourselves 9th and 6 points of the final play off position. Hopefully with the form we have been showing we can really finish this season strong..


We start of with the news that Charlie Dawes has rejected the approach by VCD. It's brilliant seeing players showing great loyalty to the club.

First game of the month ends in a closely contested win vs play off chasers Stocksbridge. We concede 2 goals again.. a little worrying that we are starting to ship in goals like we did..

4th Place Carlton Town Fc beat us 2-1 at home curtsy of some brilliant counter attacking display. They exploited my wings with the narrow formation and when I changed it up at HT, it still didn't prevent them from getting another.

Our unbeaten run comes to an end.. not to be defeated for nearly 3 months is an unreal achievement from a team who were expecting to be fighting bravely against relegation.

OH GOD NO. An awful game from both sets of teams. Morpeth with a lucky goal from inside the penalty box.

From one awful performance to an unreal one. 2-0 down at HT I thought we were done, especially as Brighouse were 2nd. However, Jordan Jowers produces the performance of the season by scoring 2 goals and assisting the winner. 3 POINTS, GET IN!

Nice grand in the bank for myself!!!

A very solid performance from every single player that played. Solid at the back, created lots of chances, a great win all round.


We climb 1 place to 8th but now only 4 points of 5th. Four more games remain and I really want to have at least 10 points from those remaining games. Whatever happens though I am really proud of the team.

See you in the next update!



Nov 2, 2017

Season 1 - PT8
This is going to be close

It's the final few games of the season and all we need to do is keep our momentum. How did we get on?


We start of with a new deal to keep me at the club until 2021. Exciting times for not only myself but for the club.

A very important 3 points vs Wisbech. Controlled the game very well and kept a clean sheet. That will do nicely!!!

We go away to 5th place Marske. 2 points off them and potentially a win away from entering into that final play off position, we fell apart from the get go. A goal within the first 40 seconds dropped our heads and we never recovered. Lewis Maloney scoring a hatrick.

With 2 games to go and 5 points off the play-offs or we could really do is play our own game and make sure we got 3 points. We did just that! A great performance all round from attack all the way back to defense, we played brilliantly.

Going into the final day, Markse and Carlton were only 2 points away. They both lost their previous fixture and were out of form. However, we had to go away to Stamford who were challenging for the league title.

And we save our best performance till last. Demolishing not only the game but the dreams of Stamford chances of winning the league, we were faultless. Jordan Jowers scoring twice in the 90 and four on the day really showed me what an excellent player he has been this season.

We even set a record for the league!


We finish 7th. Two points of the final play off place. Gutted after such a good performance from the boys in the last game but that's football. I am really proud of where we ended up in the league, especially after our awful run of form mid season. We have really bounced back in 2019 and I am already excited to go 1 better next season.

Missing out on the play offs was bad enough but then...

Mansfield has gone and won the ****** league in League 2! That means at the start of next season, we're 5 promotions away.


The boys deserve a long holiday and hopefully get the break they deserve. I'm not looking at changing the squad too much as we have a really good bunch of lads with good chemistry. The 2019/2020 season is going to be an interesting one!

Please find below the awards for this season and always, thanks for reading!



Nov 2, 2017


PT 1
After a good few weeks off, the boys come back refreshed and raring to go. Let's hope we can go one better this year and challenge for promotion.


Firstly, there were some new deals agreed and some departures.

Pearson opted to stay but went to a non contract deal. He was excellent when called upon and a reliable player when needed.

George Cleet who was excellent last year signed a non contract.

Liam Cooke also decided to stay at the club but also went to a non contract deal. He should really push on this year and become a key member of the squad.

And finally Luke Clark opted to stay as well but again, went on a non contract deal.

Our first of our departures was Jamie McGuire who retired at the age of 35. He didn't get a load of games last year but brought in the experienced we needed. We wish him the very best.

Mark Dudley, our main Left Back and Fans player of the year has agreed to join Glossop. Gutted with this as he was excellent for us last year. We now need to find a replacement.

We also have agreed a new sponsorship deal.

So after the ins and outs so far, this is the squad we have. I would like to bring in a new GK for backup and a new LB / RB.

The first signing of the summer was 35 year old striker Jason Walker who has signed a non contract deal.He will bring in a lot of experience and be a great back up to O'Neill and Jowers.

Secondly was Max Beardsmore. A young keeper who will more than likely be back up to Latham.

And lastly we bring in Tom Fielding. An excellent midfielder who will bring quality and skill into the squad. Again, he has opted for a non contract deal.


A good pre season with 4 wins from 5. We looked very dangerous going forward.

And finally, the predictions for this year. Again we are predicted 12th which is a shame as I thought they would of predicted us higher but there ya go.. Cleethorpes are favorites to go up while Pontefract are 7-10 to go down.

In the next update, we start our season at home and hopefully get a good result!

See you in the next update and thanks for reading.​


Nov 2, 2017

This hasn't gone to plan...


In the last update I said that our first game of the season was at home. Well we had a fixture change and our first game was on a Tuesday night? Doesn't matter too much as we smash Pickering in the second half and we come away with a 3-0 win. Jowers and O'Neill, my key players, performing very well.

Our first home game of the season was at home VS. newly promoted Worcester. We went ahead twice in the game but got pulled back in very quick succession.

Away to favorites to go down Pontefract and our performance at the back is the worst I have ever seen. 3 goals from 4 shots. Dawes getting one back at the end.

FA CUP TIME! And we're out. Liam O'Neill putting us 1-0 up inside 13 minutes but then a Potter double put us 2-1 down and we never recovered. We go crashing out the cup.

Not only do we go crashing out of the cup at the first hurdle but Charlie Dawes, a cracking player last year, gets stretchered off and is out for 7-8 months.

However on a lighter note, as our finances are better than expected, we get to now keep 20% of player sales.. Not that we get any money from transfers but it's a nice gesture!

Another home game this time against top of the league. An awful performance from us again as Stamford put four past us.. It can't get any worse surely?

Apparently it does! Stocksbridge putting 6 past us and we have now conceded 10 goals in 2 matches at home. I said I wasn't going to bring in many players as I thought our current players were going to do very well this year however after 5 games, they have all been a massive disappointment and I now need to bring in better players for this division.


We start the season with one win from 5 and already 9 points of the top. We need to start recruiting and bring in some more quality players so we stand a chance of our target. Let's hope we improve in the coming weeks.



Nov 2, 2017

New players, better results.

September has been a lot more positive than August. We have brought in some new players to improve the squad and had a National League team take one of our players on trial.

New Arrivals.

First signing is a new LB in Ciaran Best. The 20 year old should really develop his game here and is going to be a Key Player this year.

Next arrival is Ryan Watson. The 27 year old made 5 appearances for Scarborough Athletic last year and should be a good back up.

Next arrival is highly rated Arthur Read. The 19 year old who spent time at Brentford and Luton joins us on a non contract and should be a key player this year.

Lastly is RB Bayode. Callum Bullock has got injured again and I am getting slightly concerned about his injury proneness. Bayode is a young RB who should be in the first team and competing with Bullock when he is fit.

Brad Simmons has also caught the eye of Chesterfield and I have accepted the deal of a 1 week trial. He is in contract until 2020.


A good game vs recently relegated North Ferriby where Jowers bagged himself a brace. Not the most confident of games but it's a good step in the right direction.

A much more positive performance against Loughborough where we score 3 goals with 3 different scorers. Keeping a clean sheet as well was really pleasing.

A scrappy, nasty game. 12 cards dished out through out the game with O'Neill taking it one step further with a red. To make things worse, Cleet scores an O.G to give Spalding all 3 points.

Why we concede so many goals at home is beyond me. Markse score 3 past us as we never got going. Liam Cooke bags himself a goal in the 83rd minute but by then, there was no way back.

FA TROPHY TIME! A great win and another stand out performance from Jowers. Best also scores his first goal for AFC Mansfield and we're into the next round. It will be good to see how far we go in this competition.

A nice £2,000 to add for progressing.


We move up to 12th from 16th. We looked great in some games but we do still need to improve. 5 points of the play offs lets hope we can get closer to that final place in the coming weeks.