Craig Priest blog - Impressive start to signings at the One Call

NMAC12-1280-1''STags Fan Craig Priest
NMAC12-1280-1''STags Fan Craig Priest
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On Friday Paul Cox made the first two additions to his side for the forthcoming season in the form of midfielders Chris Clements and Jamie Tolley.

I believe these to be the first of several strong key additions made by the Stags boss ahead of our fifth season in the Blue Square Bet Premier.

It’s tempting when writing these articles to use the term ‘rebuild’ however in my opinion that’s far from the case this summer at the One Call Stadium as rebuild suggests something’s wrong or broken.

We certainly are not.

If anything we are a flickering flame which was so close to going out, now burning a new wick sparkling in the sky, fittingly in a blaze of glory.

The extra-time defeat to eventual promotion winners York City certainly came as a blow.

However, unlike our previous failings, we’ve not remained in that negative bubble.

Instead Paul Cox has played the mother hen part, cupping his hands around our flickering candle-like flame, working to ignite it once more.

Clements and Tolley add to an already splendid midfield and both have the ability to be playing League football,.

It’s credit to the euphoria we now have surrounding the club they’ve opted to don the Amber and Blue next season.

Some may be wondering where the addition of the duo leaves other midfielders at the club and why sign more midfielders when other areas are short?

The re-introduction of the reserve team will solve that problem and in turn, aid our title push.

The league we’ve entered (the Central Reserves League Central Division) is a very strong standard, equivalent to the Conference against some very strong sides.

All our players will have regular competitive football at a similar standard and style of play.

As I wrote in my printed column this week, this enables us to copy the path Fleetwood took in terms of leaving out key players that usually you couldn’t do without.

The Cod Army left out key figures such as Vardy and Mangan and still had enough strength in depth to keep the momentum going and the results coming.

I still don’t like the Fleetwood comparison because of the contrast in finance.

Our budget is smaller than the divisional champions.

However, the point still stands that the buzz surrounding our name attracts quality and we have the foundations in place to keep everyone playing and, fingers crossed, in turn drive the club to the next level with a few medals along the way.

It’s a refreshing change to be writing about strengthening and going forward, without having to take a hundred steps back and completely start again first!

Over the coming weeks I’ve no doubt there will be more additions to talk about and following today’s news that the U16s season ticket prices have been lowered, everything seems to be ticking over nicely.

Whilst I’ll be looking for player additions, I’ll be keeping a close eye on the back room staff additions.

It is vital that we re-sign Micky Moore, Andy Todd and chief scout Paul Ogden as the trio have been unsung heroes.

The latter has expert knowledge of the player market and has been responsible for many of the players to have real influence on last season’s terrific story.

Micky Moore and Andy Todd are well respected by all at the club and too have excellent knowledge, Moore in a way is Mansfield Town’s Peter Taylor – the work he puts in is phenomenal and, despite the 2011-12 campaign being the first he and Cox have worked together, the partnership is strong is should continue.

I’ll be writing more about that over the coming weeks as the slow count to pre-season continues.

Thanks for reading and continue the chat on twitter, I’m @craigpriest14.