Boss Adam Murray believes the youth team winning the Football League Youth Alliance is a ‘massive milestone’ for the football club.
The under 18s cannot be caught at the top of the Football League Youth Alliance after they concluded their 2015-16 campaign with a 2-0 win over Grimsby Town on Saturday.
Manager Murray is pleased with the successful performances of the youngsters and is hopeful it’ll set a precedent in years to come.
“To achieve what they’ve done this season has been phenomenal. It’s a massive milestone for the football club to be able to do that. I’ve been involved in the trials of the next group of 15-16 year-olds coming in next season and they’re strong again, so the future really is bright," Murray said.
“We’re going to be down at Brooksby [youth training base, Leicestershire] this week so we’ll be having chats with the youth team staff and having a look at who we think can handle the huge step up. What we don’t want to do is ‘kill’ them before they’ve even got going.”
Stags’ first team were edged out by Leyton Orient at the weekend, but Murray remains encouraged by the displays the senior squad have showcased on their travels.
“Our away form has been superb and you obviously can’t win every away game as much as you try to and want to. I think Saturday (against Orient) was one of them that we were coming up against a team that hasn’t had a great season in terms of what they expected, but [are] still probably the biggest club in the league.
“We couldn’t really ask any more from our away form this season. The travelling support would agree that we’ve definitely given them something to shout about on the road. The last minute wins we’ve had, the performances and the results we’ve got on the road – it’s been a real excitement for everyone.”
Former Football League forward Karl Hawley joined the club on a temporary basis in March to coach the strikers for the remainder of the season and he travelled to Leyton Orient as part of Murray’s backroom staff for the first time on Saturday and the boss has stated his ambition to appoint a permanent replacement for Mickey Moore, who left the club in April, as soon as possible.
“Karl’s been in daily for the last month now so he’s built a good bond with the players. He obviously knows the league inside out which is important for me – he’s played at the level, he’s been promoted at the level.
“It was good experience for me to see him in that environment and see him in the dressing room environment for a matchday and it worked well, so [it’s] more food for thought.
“It (the decision on coaching staff) will be in the next couple of weeks; I doubt it’ll be before Saturday. It’s the same with the players, I want everything done so the football club, the supporters and myself; we all know where we are [for] next season and we can plan for what we need to do.”
The Stags will continue contract talks with a number of players at the club and elsewhere in the coming days and weeks and the gaffer has provided an update on the situation.
“A couple of players we’re talking to at the minute, they have got offers at other clubs as well so we’ve got to do a little bit of work on them and probably [will have to] be a little patient. I think we’ve seen this season that we are lacking a couple of ingredients in this team.
“There’s a few that are very, very close – hopefully [they will] be finalised in the next 48 hours.”