Chairman John Radford writes in today's match programme...
Carolyn and I both trust you have had an enjoyable Christmas with your families and wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2018.
There is often cause for reflection as we embark into a new calendar year and I think, in summary, it is fair to note that we have experienced a pleasing 2017, with the knowledge of departments where we have improved and areas where we can and will advance upon in this New Year.
On the field, Steve steered us close to an unlikely play-off spot in May and following a meticulous player recruitment process in the summer, we have performed well, largely speaking, in the first half of the campaign to put us in a position to be even stronger in the second half of the season.
Without wishing to roll out football clichés, there really are fine margins in this division between success and failure, but with the experience of our management and the ability within the dressing, slightly strengthened by some potential additional signings, our target of promotion remains both real and achievable in the final 21 games of the season.
Off the field, we should consider the strides which we have again made in the past 12 months. Work is underway for a new training ground at Woburn Lane, Pleasley; plans have been submitted for a new 100-room hotel at One Call Stadium, which we will look to build in between the Ian Greaves and Quarry Lane Stands.
The hotel, flagshipped by an international hotel brand, would contain six floors, elevating over the Quarry Lane Stand, and would have a hugely positive impact upon the appearance of the stadium and the surrounding areas in general. We are in communication with Mansfield District Council at this present time as we endeavour to roll-out this exciting new project as soon as is possible for the good of the Town, its economy and Mansfield Town Football Club.
"Let us continue to encourage and support one another in 2018, be the best we can possibly be in whichever role we have, and triumph together."
Elsewhere, Carolyn has acted as fine ambassador for our club in the regional and national media in the past year, and she is leading the way as part of the club’s endeavours to include more women in football.
We are proud to coach and train almost 200 girls in our ladies’ side of the club as well as 450 children in our boys’ academy, which is improving year upon year – three players from which were recently called up to the England College team.
The above is only a summary of the improvements we have made and are continuing to make at One Call Stadium.
This is a good time to be a Stags’ supporter. Everyone who comes to watch us on a regular basis knows that we are always endeavouring to make progress in all areas of the club and we want to make Mansfield Town Football Club the best it can possibly be.
Phrases like ‘sticking together’ and ‘being as one’ almost become 'old chestnuts' which many owners and managers roll off the tongue at will these days. However, there is much truth in its sentiment. It takes me back to my time in the army, where if a member on the same side of you has different aims and attitudes to the rest of the battalion, then there is no way of achieving the same goal. It is the same at a football club.
We all want the same thing: success for the Stags. So let us continue to encourage and support one another in 2018, be the best we can possibly be in whichever role we have, and triumph together knowing we did all we could to acquire the same goal.
Happy New Year.