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Stags sign experienced shot-stopper

8 June 2017

Mansfield Town are delighted to announce the signing of former Exeter City goalkeeper Bobby Olejnik.

The 30-year-old shot stopper becomes the club's 12th signing of the close season.

Born in Vienna, Austria, Olejnik progressed through the youth setup at both Rapid Vienna and Austria Wien before moving to England to join Aston Villa's youth team.

After signing professional at Villa Park, Olejnik joined League Two side Lincoln City on loan towards the end of the 2006/07.

The former Austrian under 21 international left Villa at the end of that season to sign for Scottish side Falkirk.

After usurping Tim Krul as the club's number one, Olejnik was a regular fixture between the sticks for the next three seasons.

Whilst with the Bairns, Olejnink made his European debut in the Europa League, keeping a clean sheet in his first game against Liechtenstein-based club Vaduz.

He left Falkirk to sign for then-League Two side Torquay United ahead of the 2011/12 season. Following a solid first season with the Gulls, Olejnik enjoyed a stellar second campaign and was named in the PFA Team of the Year for League Two.

"The lad is an experienced goalkeeper who has a real burning desire to again play Championship football and for sure he is very capable."

Steve Evans, manager

Despite signing a contract extension with Torquay in February 2012, he joined then-Championship side Peterborough United on a three-year deal in June 2012.

He was a mainstay of Posh's side in 2012/13 and made 275 saves across the season – the most by any goalkeeper in the Championship.

Posh were back in League One the following season and Olejnik again excelled as the last line of defence. He received the club's Player of the Year award and also kept 22 clean sheets during the campaign, equalling the club record.

Olejnik spent time on loan with Scunthorpe United and York City over the next two seasons, before being captured by Exeter City in June 2015 following the expiration of his contract with Posh.

He made 63 appearances over the last two seasons with the Grecians.

"I am delighted that Bobby has joined us, considering he had a few options in League One to consider," said manager Steve Evans.

"The lad is an experienced goalkeeper who has a real burning desire to again play Championship football and for sure he is very capable.

"I ran a final analysis on Bobby when I watched him against Carlisle United and Blackpool in the recent League Two play-offs and it has to be said that he was excellent, so I went about meeting him with his representatives.

"Once again our CEO, Carolyn Radford, was able to negotiate strongly and get a deal suitable for the lad to want to be at Mansfield Town.

"Bobby readily accepts he has a real fight to claim a starting spot, given we have already Conrad Logan signed. Both of these lads are ambitious and will want to be playing and for me, competition for the shirt is the best way to inspire the best performances.

"Our squad for the new season continues to take shape. We have a talented group, versatile in the systems of play which we can adopt and there is a beautiful balance too. It is coming together nicely.

"Despite having a little break, my work continues with a real focus. The squad is a couple of players short of where I ideally want us to be. We have identified targets, talks and negotiations continue and in like everything we do, we must continue to ensure that we get value for money.

"My chairman is delighted with the business we have done and his support to all of us is unwavering.

"League Two next season is going to be so tough. I really respect the work going on at a host of clubs. Exeter City, Luton Town, Carlisle United, Coventry City, Cambridge United and Crewe Alexandra all stand out to me as having significantly strengthened plus we have Swindon Town, a super football club who are at least two leagues lower than they should be so we have lots of work to do in the weeks ahead."

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