Ilkeston FC defender Jordan Wheatley has signed for National League North side Nuneaton - despite Mansfield Town appearing to believe they had recruited the player last week.
Wheatley, 18, turned down the offer of a new contract at Ilkeston and then appeared for Mansfield in their pre-season friendly at Rainworth Miners Welfare last Saturday.
Following that game, Stags boss Adam Murray was quoted as saying how pleased he was to have recruited Wheatley and that he had hopes of including him in his first team setup in the near future.
However, it has now been confirmed that Wheatley has in fact signed a deal with former Robins boss Kevin Wilson at Nuneaton Town.
Wilson said; “Jordan played for me at Ilkeston and is an intelligent footballer who knows how to read the game.
“He is keen to learn and take information on board so that he keeps improving. He has the desire and hunger that I expect from players and is ambitious too. I want the club to progress and I want the players to progress, and I’m sure Jordan will help us get to where we want to be.”
Wheatley added: “I am 18-years-old and all I want to do is play football this season.
“Mansfield are a great club but my game-time chances might have been limited there. I want to play and that is why I chose Nuneaton.
“They play at a good level and it is higher than where I was last year.
“I think with the coaching here I will only improve. It was an easy decision for me to make really.
“I know the manager Kevin Wilson and his assistant Steve Chettle really well.
“They were at Ilkeston a couple of years ago and I learnt a lot from them during that time. Steve was actually my teacher at school before that so I have known him for years.
“I feel comfortable coming here and trusting that I am in the best place to move my career forward.
“They showed last year with the other guys from Ilkeston what can be done. I want to have some of that and more. I want to grow as a player and also help the team push up the league this year.”
Ilkeston head coach Paul Holland said: “Realistically, we always knew that Jordan probably wouldn’t be an Ilkeston player for the coming season. We did make Jordan an offer for this season, but he never hid the fact that he’d like to play at a higher level and he’s now gone on to do that.
“Everyone at Ilkeston FC wishes Jordan all the best for his future and hopefully we can be playing against them next season.”