AFC Mansfield boss cannot wait to get going
New AFC Mansfield boss Phil Buxton admits he cannot wait for the new NCEL season to get underway.
The Bulls kick off the long-awaited season with a testing away day at Staveley on 31st July.
And Buxton is eager to get cracking after making the step up from U21’s boss into the main hot-seat.
“I can't wait to get going, the season can't come soon enough,” he said. “It will be tough against Staveley.
“We know what to expect, they are a good set up and have a great manager. It will be tough, but all games will be tough in this league.
“We have to be as prepared and ready to go as we can.”
The Bulls kick off their pre-season campaign on Saturday at home to Sheffield, with fixtures against Harworth, Grantham, Rainworth, Clipstone and a Mansfield Town eleven.
Buxton is keen to see the pathway between U21’s and the first team strengthened with the pre-season campaign providing a great chance to blood new players.
“We had a nice set up with the U21s last year, a few of them have come over and added to the quality of the squad,” added Buxton.
“The main aim when I came to be manager was to have the progression through the club from U18 to U21 to first team.
“We want to breed players and have them progress through the system, it is important we give these players the opportunity.
“The U21’s in the first team squad have mixed in well with the experienced boys and taken to training, it's great to see. A pathway is one thing we need to do as a club.”
And Buxton hopes that the bonds currently being formed in training will lead to a spirit of togetherness throughout the gruelling campaign.
He added: “Togetherness will be massive and is something we are trying to build.
“We want players who will play for each other, play for the shirt and who will ultimately give it their all on the pitch.
“When everyone works in the same direction it breeds togetherness and is only good for the squad going forward.
“It's exciting times for the club and it will be great to have the fans back.
“They will see energy and passion from the lads, we are all raring to go. We have young players who want to do well and have a hunger for the badge and a desire to give it their all for the team mates.”