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New defender explains reasons for joining Stags

16 July 2022

Mansfield Town defender Riley Harbottle says that the manager and the quality of the training ground were two of the main attractions that brought him to the Stags, despite offers from other League Two clubs.

The 21-year-old defender signed on a season-long loan from Nottingham Forest earlier today and played 75 minutes in the club’s 1-1 draw at home to Rotherham United earlier this afternoon. 

Harbottle captained Forest’s under-23s side and made his debut for their first team last season in the EFL Cup against Bradford City in August 2021. The young defender is looking to gain more first team experience at One Call Stadium. 

Speaking to iFollow Stags after today’s match with the Millers, Riley said: “I think the manager [was a huge attraction in signing for the club].

“Obviously the success he’s had and the portfolio he’s got [is clear to see].

“I went to the training ground to meet him on Thursday, and the training ground speaks for itself. 

“I don’t think you’ll see a training ground like that in League Two.” 

Speaking about his first outing in a Stags’ shirt, the youngster said: “I did well. I still think I have more to give. 

“It’s just [about] getting used to the guys as I only came in yesterday.

“Unfortunately, I didn’t get to train yesterday. 

“I just went straight in today and thought I did okay.” 

The Forest Academy graduate outlined his specific skillset.

“I’ll always give 100%, as you have probably seen today.

“I’ll give everything.

“I like to play as well as defend but most importantly I'm a defender so that is what I'll be doing.” 

On his hopes and targets for the season, Riley said: “Personally, I want to make as many appearances and play in as many games as I can. 

“But I want to be at the top end of the table.

“Like I said, with [regards to] the other clubs that came in [for me], I think this will be the best one for me to be pushing for promotion this year.” 


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