Youth team graduate Jack Thomas has today committed his long-term future to the club by putting pen-to-paper on a new deal.
The 19-year-old has extended his stay at One Call Stadium after impressing at the heart of Stags’ midfield, showing his versatility by playing both out wide and in the middle.
Thomas, who grew up in Mansfield Woodhouse, becomes the first current player to renew his contract ahead of the 2016-17 campaign.
The youngster has netted two goals in his 36 appearances in all competitions this season against Stevenage and Oxford United, and he is delighted to secure his future at his hometown club.
“I believe in what the gaffer’s building here and I want to be a part of it. When the gaffer brought me in to offer me a new deal, I didn’t really think about it,” said Thomas.
“It means everything to me and it’s good to know where I’m going to play next year heading into the summer. I didn’t want to be going into the summer not knowing where I was going to be playing.”
Reflecting on the 2015-16 season, Thomas acknowledges that he can still improve in order to contribute more to the team’s success.
“I think it (the season) has gone really well – in a way, there is a little bit of regret because I think we could’ve made the play-offs but I think we’ll be ‘up there’ next season.
“I think I could’ve been better but when I’ve got a good run in the team, I think I’ve done well and hopefully I can build on that for next year.”
The midfielder also believes that he is managing his lifestyle better off the pitch and is reaping the rewards from a new fitness program which he has undertaken.
“I’ve been in the gym a lot more in the last two or three months and I can feel it already going onto the pitch now. I just feel stronger and fitter on the pitch when the gaffer has put me in [the team].”
Thomas also discussed the influence of manager Adam Murray, who he feels has made a massive impact on the direction of his career.
“He was the main reason why I did [sign a contract]. I’ve been here four years now and he’s been brilliant with me and I really do believe in him. I really do believe I wouldn’t be here without him – I think I would’ve been released, so I can’t thank him enough.
“He’s just told me I’m a big part of his plans and [to] just show everyone next year what you’re capable of.”
The midfielder's interview is available to view on Stags Player HD.