Mansfield Town defender James Perch says he loves ‘being back home’ after signing a new one-year deal at the club yesterday (Tuesday).
The 36-year-old local overcame a career-threatening skull fracture injury in last campaign and captained his hometown club at Wembley in the Sky Bet League Two Play-Off Final.
Speaking to iFollow Stags after signing his new deal with the club, Perch said: “When the gaffer [Nigel Clough] said ‘we want you to stay’ that was it then.
“I’m happy to stay, I’m happy to be here for another year and this will be my third year [at the club].
“I’ve loved it [so far] being back home and playing back in front of the home crowd.
“The expectation on us has been great, the fans have been brilliant [and have been] coming in [their] numbers.
“Since the gaffer has come in, he’s been nothing but brilliant with me.
“It’s just nice being home.”
When asked about the impact boss Nigel Clough has had on him, the defender said: “He gets it, he gets football.
“He gets when lads need a breather, how long lads need to train for; he just understands it so well [in a way] that I’ve never really had before.
“The biggest compliment I can give him is that I wish I had met him sooner.
“I think I would’ve achieved more in my career if I’d met him sooner.”
On using the Play-Off Final defeat as fuel for success next season, the Mansfield number 14 said: “I think we have to.
“We said that after the game.
“It’s how you take it [disappointment] and we have to use it and think… if we’re going to Sutton away or Harrogate away [next campaign], we’ve got to win these games.
“We don’t want to be heading back to Wembley again, we’d rather do it [get promoted] automatically.
“I think that’s what the memo will be this season, definitely.”
The club have sold over 3,000 season tickets for the 2022/23 campaign. The Mansfield born player lauded the Stags’ support.
“It’s brilliant, I don’t think we’ve ever seen those numbers,” he said.
“It is obviously off the back of last season and the ‘half success’ we had with good runs, breaking records and getting to Wembley.
“I think they’re [the Stags’ supporters] coming here and expecting us to get promoted which is fair enough [because] that’s what we want.
“I think they enjoyed it, I think they enjoyed the style of football that we played and the way we attack teams at home.”