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Heslop out to impress

22 July 2014

New signing keen to impress One Call Stadium faithful.

Midfielder Simon Heslop is relishing the chance to impress supporters after putting pen-to-paper on a deal with Mansfield Town.

The 27-year-old, who is expected to make his non-competitive debut in tonight’s encounter with Leeds United, was unveiled as our sixth summer signing earlier this afternoon.

Boss Paul Cox fought off interest from higher-division clubs, including Crawley Town who had Heslop on trial only last week, in order to capture the signature of the energetic midfielder.

“We’re coming up to the start of the season so I was keen to get something sorted,” said Heslop.

“I’ve been training at Crawley Town for a couple of weeks but nothing seemed to be materialising too much, so I thought it was time to ‘take the plunge’ and get my season sorted.

“Earlier on in the summer, there was mention [of me signing for Crawley]. The manager (John Gregory) wanted me to go there and train and have a little luck, but nothing came of it and now I’m at Mansfield.”

He added: “[My family] were a big factor in this move. I’m a northern lad, originally from York, and something that I was looking to do was move a little bit further up north.

“Looking round the facilities and the ground here, it looks like a lovely place for me to play football.”

When asked about his playing style, the Yorkshireman continued: “[Supporters] can expect to see a lot of hard-work from me. My fitness levels are usually ‘up there’ and I should be getting up and down the pitch well.

“I won’t shirk a challenge and I’d like to think I’m decent on the ball.”

Heslop began his career in the academy set-up at Barnsley, signing his first professional deal with the club in early-2005.

Despite a six-year association with the South Yorkshire team, the midfielder found first-team opportunities hard to come by and spent time on loan at numerous lower division clubs.

“I was at Barnsley for a long time and when I was in the reserve team I wasn’t satisfied with just staying in the reserve team,” explained Heslop. “I wanted to get out and play first-team football and I think in the long run it’s done me well.

“I’ve got to know managers, etcetera, so I was pleased with [those choices].”

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