Ex-keeper Ian Deakin delighted to be back in new commercial role at Mansfield Town

Mansfield Town welcomed back a familiar face this week as former goalkeeper Ian Deakin returned to take over the role of the club's commercial executive.

By John Lomas
Monday, 29th November 2021, 5:19 pm
Back at the One Call Stadium - Ian Deakin embarks on new Stags career.
Back at the One Call Stadium - Ian Deakin embarks on new Stags career.

The 34-year-old, who was No.2 to Alan Marriott under Paul Cox the season Stags were promoted back into the EFL in 2013, was already operating as Mansfield's Academy head of recruitment, but has now stepped into the big shoes of the recently departed Paul Nyland to run the commercial side of the club.

“Paul did a fantastic job - I know him well,” said Deakin, who also manages United Counties League side Long Eaton United.

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“He's a great guy and was here when I played here. I now want to continue the good work he's been doing and try to elevate the club.

“We want to go up the leagues and that goes hand in hand with the commercial side.

“I want to build on the links Paul has made and make them stronger plus add new ones I can bring to the table as well.

“I want to work with local businesses in and around Mansfield.”

Deakin added: “It's a great town and it has good people in it. People work hard in this town and we appreciate all the sponsorship that comes in and the support they and the fans give us.

“I want to help elevate the club as high as possible and I am working hard to do that.”

Deakin was delighted to see the club's new scoreboard that will give him even more scope for business.

“We have brought in some new sponsorship for the scoreboard this week and the signs will be going up before the Carlisle game,” he said.

“The new scoreboard is brilliant – it looks impressive and is a tool I can utilise. I know the fans have been wanting it for a long time.

“The chairman continues to back the club by installing that. It's part of the jigsaw.

“You would love everything at a club to be all-singing, all-dancing and new, but it has to come as part of a jigsaw puzzle and we continue to develop on and off the field.

“It's my role to make sure that happens to make sure we build those links.”

On his involvement with Long Eaton, he said:“With my Long Eaton United role at the moment I am just going to be here Monday to Friday and get to games as and when I can.

“It's about the day to day running of it and interacting with sponsors.

“Laura Cooper is great. She looks after events on the Saturday and hospitality.

“I have been relying on her quite heavily on that side of things as my experience is more business to business.

“She has been great since I came in as has Diane (Ceney, secretary) and everybody. They have helped me settle in.”

Deakin was approached by Mansfield to take up the role.

“In between playing football for a living I had a day job in sales management – technical sales for an automotive company,” he said.

“When this job became available I believe David Sharpe (Stags CEO) looked at my CV – I had recently left my day job – and he asked me if I would come in and have an interview through my skill set and it went from there.

“I have been in the academy role for nearly two years now. Coops (Richard Cooper) and myself were at Forest together, so I have known him for a long time now.”

He continued: “Being the new commercial executive and academy head of recruitment as well as managing Long Eaton United, I am spinning a few plates on the minute.

“But my commitment to Long Eaton is loyal and I expressed that to David when I sat down with him.

“I would like to see that through and come the end of the season we will have to sit down and make a decision.

“I also have a young family so I have to feed them. But it's as you are at the moment.

“The chairman is investing moment in it again on the infrastructure. It's a really well run club which makes my job easier with what I do with the lads on the field.”

United certainly don't want to lose his services.

“I spoke to the chairman. He is adamant he doesn't want me to leave, so at some point I am going to have make a decision but it's as you were in the meantime,” said Deakin.

“Everyone understands the situation and it's nice to feel like you're wanted as I must be doing something right.

“In the summer we will sit down and see if we can work something out that works for everybody and if not something will have to give.

“But my primary focus at the minute is continuing the good work Paul Nyland has done and making sure that we keep the relationships going that we have going with the sponsors and the fans.”

Deakin believes his Long Eaton success comes down to treating players the right way, which he has learned after working under the likes of Paul Cox, Paul Hart and Steve Chettle.

“Footballers just want to be treated the right way and with honesty – I have always wanted that and I try to treat them exactly as I would want to be treated to create an environment in which they thrive. That's what a manager does,” he said.

“As mad as it sounds, as a manager you're trying to make yourself redundant. As a manager you want them to take ownership and do it themselves and at that point it's a dream to manage.

“To be fair to my players, they do that and know exactly what I want from them.

“I am honest with them and sometimes honesty is hard to take in the short term when you have to give someone bad news or tell them they're not playing. But as a footballer you have to take that on the chin and deal with it.

“It only prolongs the inevitable and you lose respect. I am massive on respect and standards as well as work rate and ethic – things I had instilled in me when I played.

“A lot of that comes from Paul Cox and Paul Hart. But it has been a fantastic couple of years and Long Eaton is on the up.”