Winger Ashley Hemmings has expressed his delight at signing for Mansfield Town following the expiration of his contract at Dagenham & Redbridge.The former Wolverhampton Wanderers, Plymouth Argyle and Burton Albion man arrives at One Call Stadium after netting five goals in 47 appearances in the 2015-16 campaign for the Daggers.
Speaking about why he’s joined the Stags, Hemmings spoke candidly about what boss Adam Murray said to lure him to One Call Stadium and the versatile winger wants to repay the manager’s faith in him.
“He (Murray) told me that he’s been watching me for the last three seasons. He said he knows what I can do and that he wants to bring me into the team to do what I’ve been doing. From those words, it just shows that he’s got belief in me and obviously I just want to prove I can do everything he’s asked for," Hemmings said.
“They (Mansfield) play attractive football. Every time I’ve come here [to One Call Stadium], even the fans have been supporting the team as well, throughout the whole game. I was very happy they were interested in me and I was definitely wanting to come here.”
Despite being part of the Dagenham squad that got relegated to the National League in the 2015-16 campaign, Hemmings feels he has benefitted from the overall experience, whilst also describing what Stags’ supporters can expect to see when they watch him play.
“I like to get the ball, take players on and get loads of crosses in for the strikers so I bring loads of assists into the game.
“I had ups and downs [last season] obviously, I think it made me into more of a stronger person being in that environment. That’s made me more positive because I never want to be fighting in the relegation [areas] again.”
Hemmings scored 12 goals in total in his two-year spell at Dagenham and he is targeting a better return in the future for Mansfield, and also says Stags’ left-back Mal Benning offered rave reviews about the club before he put pen-to-paper on a deal, as he knows the defender from their spell together at Walsall.
“I think this is a great team to come into and I feel like from the last couple of seasons that I’ve got better and I’ve known the game even more. I think the team and staff can push me even further now.
“Every game I go out hoping that I can score or assist – hopefully next season I can get double figures [for goals] and that’s what I’ll be aiming for.
“I spoke to Mal [before I came] and he told me it was a great place to be – I know Mal, he’s an honest lad so I took his word for it! It’s one of the best career moves I think I’ve made.”
Supporters can watch Ashley Hemmings’ full interview on Stags Player HD.