Ambitious Mansfield Town chairman John Radford reiterated his Championship dream at the club’s end of season dinner on Sunday after the Stags ended their first season back in the League in 11th spot.
A Junior Daniel goal was enough to seal a 1-0 win and relegate Bristol Rovers at their Memorial Stadium on Saturday, which saw Stags miss out on ninth place only on goal difference and a play-off place by 11 points.
Radford said: “My three initial objectives were to regain the stadium from the hands of a former owner and put it back in the club’s hands, to obtain promotion back to the Football League, preferably as champions, and whilst the two first goals have been achieved, I will have to wait a little longer to achieve my third and most challenging aim of getting our club into the Championship.
“But while I am at the helm, I will let nothing stand in my way to ensure that Mansfield Town Football Club is mentioned in the same breath as those in the Football League’s top division.
“This season has been one of consolidation, and in typical Mansfield Town fashion, we have experienced many ups and downs. The bottom line is; whatever we have had to overcome, we have done so together.
“While I will have to wait another year to see us move into the next tier of English football, I am pleased with our mid-table finish in our first season back in the Football League.
“It’s worth remembering that in the past few years, we have picked this club up and we have fought our way back and we know in our hearts that for Mansfield Town Football Club, the best is yet to come.”
He added: “For all that remains to be done, just for a moment dwell on what has been achieved in the past 12 months - a state of the art 3G, built and used by all of our teams as well as the community; a new supporters’ bar, rivalled by only few in our division; stronger relationships with local business, rebuilt after years of mistrust, new advertisers and sponsors on board, generating additional income; a variety of events at the club on a nightly basis, making us a community hub; a growing and improving youth system; closer relationships with our supporters’ groups than ever before; and the construction of a new training ground, to be in place by the new season.
“I also want to talk about our manager Paul Cox, who has the second best post-war win ratio as manager of Mansfield Town, winning precisely 50.36 per cent of matches whilst in charge at the club, a record surpassed only by Freddie Steele.
“Paul has done well in this first season for us back in the League and I commend the efforts of both he and his coaching staff.”