Chairman and owner John Radford delivered his annual address at Sunday's annual awards dinner...
Ladies and gentlemen, good evening and welcome to tonight’s Annual Awards Dinner and thank you to Mansfield Sand who have sponsored this evening’s ceremony.
Everyone in this room tonight knows that things don’t always go your way in football.
This is a business in which there can be extreme highs and severe lows.
But ultimately, true winners are made by overcoming setbacks.
The true character of a club or business is not when the champagne is opened and the celebrations are underway, but when you’ve been knocked down and feel like the tide is against you.
We have true character at this football club by the very people who are within it.
Tonight, and until the very last ball is kicked this season, we will all keep our composure, support one another and fight until the very end, with purpose for Mansfield Town.
Only those who are mentally strong can overcome setbacks, because adversity only makes us better.
We missed out, by a hair’s breadth, on automatic promotion yesterday. And we missed out as one united club. And we will enter the play-offs, together, as one united club.
For now, this season has already been one of progress.
Tonight at this awards dinner, players throughout our club will be acknowledged in public for what we have practiced for months in private.
Many moments have stood-out from this season so far.
Our opening day victory against Newport set the tempo for what was to come.
Successive home wins against Notts County and Bury were very different encounters, but equally noteworthy.
On the road, our character was demonstrated by an exceptional fightback at Colchester in January.
Later on, our comprehensive victory at Exeter showed again what our squad is capable of.
We have experienced moments too where we’ve stumbled. But stumbling is not the same as falling. When we slipped, we got back up. And we will get back up again.
In football, the first aim should always be to win. The next should be to win with style.
And we have accomplished both in large parts this season, by winning with style.
In many games, we have earned victory through a commanding defence, a creative midfield and a lethal attack.
We have played fast, attacking football, through the thirds, and with a grace that has given us an identity as one of the most attractive teams in Sky Bet League Two.
To have four of players named in the League Two team of the Year shows the type of season we have enjoyed. Well done to Krystian Pearce, Mal Benning, CJ Hamilton and Tyler Walker.
Elsewhere, we have seen the links strengthened between our academy and first team. The pathway from the youth to the senior side is now open.
We are better placed to continue our climb up the football ladder. Strong foundations are in place here at Mansfield Town.
Where in the past this club has lagged behind others, now, in certain areas, we are trailblazers.
We are becoming known for supporting a community which supports us.
Our central ethos as a family-friendly club stems from the top from me and Carolyn. We are family people and you are our football family.
For us to be named as the Family Club of the Year for League Two fills me with immense pride.
We not only attracting the next generation of Stags’ fans, we are engaging with them.
They are our future and we are building a club of which they can be proud.
Elsewhere, our average home attendances this season are the highest in 15 years, which re-enforces growth and progress.
Make no mistake, this is a club on the up. And we will continue to strive to be the best that we can be; in every area.
In these last few years, so many of you have offered kind words of thanks to me, but I wish to say the same to you.
My gratitude extends to our staff behind the scenes, whose work you may not see, but their efforts are at the heart of our progress.
Our board of directors have a mix of qualities which complement each other. They have aided the direction in which Carolyn and I wish to take our club.
To our commercial sponsors and partners throughout the season – I appreciate your backing.
To all of our supporters here tonight and to those watching this live worldwide; thank you. The highest qualities of a supporter are encouragement, passion, positivity and vocal backing in the stands and we have those qualities in abundance within our great fanbase. And we will need those qualities to shine like never before in our next two matches.
As we head towards the end of season play-offs, we now wipe away the disappointment of yesterday.
We will focus not on our frustration, but on our unfulfilled potential.
We will concern ourselves now on what can still be achieved.
For our destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice.
As a club, we will endeavour to not only be good at what we do, but outstanding;We shall head into the play-offs together, with a unified mentality.
In times of trial, we shall not be discouraged.
We shall support and encourage our management, staff and players in our pursuit for promotion.
We shall give everything we have. All of us.
To our manager, his coaches and players:
Carolyn and I are with you;
Our directors are with you;
Our staff are with you;
Our fans are with you.
We are on this season’s journey together and we will end it together.
You have our total and undisputable support in the days and weeks ahead.
Together, let us finish the job we started.
Thank you and enjoy your night with us.