THE BIG KICK-OFF: AFC Mansfield prepare for 2015-16 campaign

AFC Mansfield.
AFC Mansfield.

AFC Mansfield are building towards the new season, which gets underway this coming weekend.

The biggest plus for the club for the coming season was securing their manager, Rudy Funk, for the next two years.

AFC Mansfield

AFC Mansfield

While the managerial merry-go-round was happening all around, the Bulls were a veritable sea of calm.

Keeping Funk has led to 12 of last year’s squad re-signing for the coming season.

With the foundations of the squad already there, and with some very good youngsters coming through the under-21 development squad, just some minor tweaks were needed.

Funk said: “I am delighted to have kept the players we wanted from last season and with a few additions things are going to plan.

“All the players have bought into what we are trying to achieve and hopefully next May we will have reached our goal.

“The players that have moved on didn’t really fit our purposes and we now have a tight-knit group who are 100% behind the club.

“We have a glut of young talented players from under-18s to the under-21s and last season we played some of them in first team games and we will continue to introduce them when the time is right, for them and for the club.”

Funk has brought in a smattering of new faces but doesn’t discount that a couple more could appear before the start of the season.

Brett Lucas, a versatile defender or midfielder, who’s previous clubs include Doncaster Rovers, Goole AFC and Retford United is a new recruit.

Another acquisition is defender Perry Marriott from Selston FC.

Meanwhile, the club have also been busy securing sponsorship and can boast five kit sponsors for the coming season.

KarVonEttes as home shirt sponsors, Blastline Ltd who are displayed on the back of the home shirts and LAH Fabrics who have sponsored the home shorts.

The away kit is sponsored ASIS Insurance and on the back of the shirts is the Mint Restaurant.

Along with new advertising boards and programme advertising the club has increased its sponsorship revenue for the coming season.

In pre-season friendlies the club drew with Clipstone 1-1 in their first outing and followed up with another 1-1 draw against Gainsborough Trinity.

A midweek game against Lincoln United at home brought an emphatic 5-0 win but this was tempered with a 1-0 loss at a very good Coalville Town the following Saturday.

The Bulls beat Clay Cross Town 2-1 in a game that saw 10 under-21s make appearances with six starting the game.

AFC Mansfield start the season away at Bottesford Town which will be a tough opening fixture.

Bottesford will be one of the clubs vying for promotion come the end of the season.

A week later they travel to South Normanton Athletic for their first-ever game in The FA Cup.

The Bulls’ first home game will be on Wednesday, August 19 when they entertain Rossington Main at the Forest Town Arena.