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Ambitious defender still aiming for success

12 May 2017

Stags’ newest signing Zander Diamond says he is still hungry for success after putting pen-to-paper at One Call Stadium earlier today.

The 32-year-old central defender has joined manager Steve Evans’ squad after leaving Northampton Town upon expiration of his contract at the end of the season. 

And Diamond, who achieved success with the Cobblers by winning the League Two title in the 2015/16 season, is still more determined than ever to add further honours to his CV. 

“You look at ambitious clubs up and down the country, then you speak to the manager up here and he outlined his ambition in what he wants to do and as soon as I heard that, it ticked all the right boxes for myself," Diamond said.

“I tasted success with Northampton in this division and hopefully I can do the same again with Mansfield. 

“Why not feel optimistic? The chairman, I read, is backing the manager so why not feel optimistic that this season can be successful?”

The former Aberdeen man was voted as Northampton’s Player of the Year in the 2016/17 season and after meeting with gaffer Steve Evans about the possibility of joining the Stags, he was impressed with the direction the club is heading in.

“I spoke to him at great length and two or three others about the direction the football club wanted to go and what he wanted. 

“Once I went away and I thought about that, I said I’d like to come and work under him. Lucky enough, the deal was done quite quickly from both parties and I’m delighted to be on board.

“Looking at them (Stags) in the league last season, they were unfortunate not to sneak into the play-offs but your general feel about the place, it’s one of optimism.

“I did speak to Alex [MacDonald] and I spoke to Joel [Byrom] and they outlined the infrastructure within the football club, what the demands are as a player and what the manager’s like. Everything all marries together as one and it was a perfect fit for me to come to this football club.”

Diamond was a key figure in the Cobblers' League Two title success in 2015/16 and he believes one of the key ingredients of successful sides is to make sure that everyone pulls in the same direction. 

“As a standard defender, you like to win your battles, your own personal battles against the strikers and then affect other players. If everybody is ‘at their jobs', it makes everyone else’s jobs easier because you win football games by everyone doing their jobs at hand. 

“We (Northampton Town) went on an incredible run to get in the position to lift the trophy but if you’ve got a kind of stubbornness and you know your roles within the team, everybody helps each other. 

“We never knew when we were beaten and we kept going until the final whistle.”

To view Zander Diamond’s exclusive first club interview, login to Stags PlayerHD.

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