Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Interviews

Academy boss says young Stags have done Mansfield proud

30 April 2018

Academy manager John Dempster says the under-18s have done Mansfield Town proud after following up their EFL Youth Alliance title-clinching win against Bradford City in mid-week with a victory against Grimsby Town on Saturday.

The 2-1 away win at Bradford was followed up by an impressive 4-0 scoreline at home to Grimsby, thanks to goals from Riley O'Sullivan, Iywrah Gooden, James Tague and Tyrese Sinclair.

Stags have two games of the current season remaining, they travel to Rotherham United on Tuesday and end the season making the short trip to Highfields Sports Complex to face Notts County.

Dempster made changes to his team, giving well-earned starts to first-year players Tague, Jack Cornell and Dan Purvin.

“I'm really pleased as we made a few changes and had a few second years step out of the team, a few first years step in and performance levels didn't change,” he said.

“I thought the two first-year central midfielders James Tague and Jack Cornell were outstanding throughout, young Dan Purvin came in at left-back, and he was a little bit nervy in the first-half but grew into the game and was probably the best player on the pitch in the second-half.

“All in all I'm really pleased and we had another clean sheet which we almost take for granted now but we shouldn't, it's a real team effort and really pleased for the players and once again, they've done the football club proud.”

Having wrapped up the title, the academy coaches and players were wary about letting complacency seep in.

“We set challenges for them to motivate them and today we beat our points tally from last year, which is really pleasing,” Dempster added.

“They're chomping at the bit and when we set them targets, they tend to smash them, so as a group they're absolutely outstanding.

“It's a stage of the season where there are a lot of tired legs. We've got an under-18s game away at Rotherham and reserve game here at Rainworth the same day, then we've got a game on Thursday at Hartlepool then the under-18s end with Notts County away.

“It depends what the first team want to do with the reserves games, if they want to add bodies to the squad or not. I've just said to the lads we want to maintain the performances - that's one game down - a good performance, now it must continue until the end of the season.”

The under-18s play Rotherham United in the penultimate away match of the season on Tuesday at 11:00am, before being presented with the EFL Youth Alliance trophy after the local derby against Notts County on Saturday 05 May.


Advertisement block