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Stags promote youth performance coach trio

5 July 2016

We have promoted Jamie Hardwick, Neil Bainbridge and Nathan Cantrill as performance phase coaches for the upcoming season.

The performance phase of the Stags’ youth setup involves youngsters aged 16-18 and the promotion of the three coaches will enhance the level of coaching which the players receive. 

Jamie Hardwick is a former professional footballer who signed professional terms at Boston United at the age of just 17, before his career was cruelly cut short at the age of 23 due to injury. 

Jamie’s football education began at the Mansfield Town Centre of Excellence, as it was previously known, before also enjoying spells at Lincoln City, Grantham and Gainsborough. 

Since his retirement from the game, Jamie has progressed through the FA’s coaching model and has just completed part B of the UEFA A licence. 

A former Nottinghamshire Coach of the Year in 2012, Jamie has plied his trade at Derby County, Notts County and most recently Ilkeston FC. 

Whilst at Ilkeston, Jamie has overseen the development of professional footballers Akil Hunter, Ashley Hunter, Joe Burgess (all Fleetwood Town), Kieran Wallace and Che Adams (both Sheffield United). 

The former Boston man believes his background in producing players into professional footballers stands him in good stead to perform his role efficiently.

“I have 17 years of coaching experience and have a history of producing players to sell on to bigger clubs,” Jamie said.

“Over a two-year period at Ilkeston, we sold 14 players to professional clubs and we are aiming to continue that pattern of player development. 

“In my role as performance coach, I want to develop local lads into under 21s and first team players.”

Neil Bainbridge is moving to the performance coach role after spending two seasons with the Stags’ under 13s whilst also working as head of Mansfield Town youth development. 

The former Brunts Academy pupil played non-league football until his early 30s before embarking on a coaching career, which he began at Drezden Colts. 

Neil’s ultimate aim is to develop players into elite footballers and he is excited to begin his new role. 

“I am passionate about football and believe that local talent should be nurtured and developed,” said Neil. 

“In my role as youth performance coach I will be looking to drive local players to become the very best they can be, both on and off the pitch.”

Nathan Cantrill headed the pre-foundation coaching phase at the club last season and will be making the step up to join Neil and Jamie in the performance phase next season. 

As well as overseeing the mini soccer age groups, Nathan was head coach of our under 11s and he will continue with that set of players in their under 12s campaign in the coming season.

Nathan represented Chesterfield as a youngster before turning out for Nottinghamshire under 18s and then signing senior terms at Shirebrook Town. 

The coach, who grew up in Mansfield, is looking forward to making up for his disappointment of not representing the Stags himself as a player in his younger days. 

“I missed the chance to represent my hometown club as a junior player and it’s now a dream come true to now be given this opportunity to be part of the performance coaching team at Mansfield Town,” Nathan said. 

“I’m really excited to be amongst so many fantastic young coaches at the club.”

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