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Youth development a key focus for progressive Stags

10 April 2015

Youth coach John Dempster believes that future looks bright under a 'new school' philosophy.

Youth coach John Dempster is confident with the progression of the club under the philosophy of manager Adam Murray. 

After sustaining a long-term groin injury earlier this season, Dempster has been concentrating on a new role within the first team and as a member of the coaching set-up for the youth team.

He said: “During my rehab I've been helping out with first team matters and helping out with the youth team as well. It has been an interesting period, but an enjoyable one. It (coaching) has been something that has interested me from a young age, which is quite surprising to some people.
“I think I'm making the transition from playing to coaching if I’m honest. If there was an injury crisis I would be available to slot in, but I’m certainly planning for the long-term.

“I’ve got a wealth of experience at this level of football so at this moment in time I’m juggling a few things but enjoying it." 

Despite the need for the first team to ensure survival in Sky Bet League Two this season, Dempster believes the club is in a good position to look ahead to the future: "The mood in the camp is good. We’re very much focussed on what is required and the main target is survival and that hasn’t changed for a number of months now.

"It is great to say that Mansfield Town are moving with the times with the new manager who has brought in different ideas and it's brilliant to be a part of it."

Youth development is one area in particular that Dempster is looking forward to constantly developing: “The new manager highlighted a number of areas that he wanted to improve on and the youth team set-up was one of them. I’ve always had an interest in the youth side of things and I’ve always kept my finger on the pulse.

"We have had a success of young players coming into the first team and what we’re trying to do is improve the whole set-up to bring a few more through and increase the quality of player that comes through.” 

He continued: “We've got a few things that we’re working on and it could really be a positive future for the football club with the plans we have in place.

"You should be looking to bring young players through. The facilities that we will have access to next season will allow us to coach local young players and hand pick players from across the country. It is great to have that tool and it will benefit us in the long term."

Dempster was also pleased with the recent return of Steve Hymas to the club as a director and highlighted the important role that he will play in youth development in the future.

He added: “Steve is going to be at the top of the tree and will be someone for the coaches to tap into and support us. It's good to have that support as it will be a challenge, but it is one we’re all looking forward to. 

“If you’ve got someone that has got the club’s interests at heart, I don’t think you can go wrong,” he concluded.

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