New Mansfield Town loanee George Shelvey believes he is part of the new breed of goalkeepers

New Mansfield Town loanee George Shelvey believes he is one of the next generation of goalkeepers who are comfortable with the ball at their feet.

By John Lomas
Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 12:58 pm
New Stags signing  loanee Forest keeper George Shelvey at OneCall Stadium.
New Stags signing loanee Forest keeper George Shelvey at OneCall Stadium.

The 20-year-old Forest prospect already has a great relationship with Stags goalkeeping coach Seamus McDonagh, who believes in his potential, and Shelvey can't wait to compete with Manchester United loanee Nathan Bishop for the No.1 jersey.

“I think I am technically gifted with my feet and with my head,” said Shelvey after signing on a season-long loan just a few days after Bishop did the same.

“I know how the game is going and how it's going to progress in the next 10 years and I feel like I am one of those keepers that are going to be there – the staple of those new keepers coming through.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

“When I was growing up you had those keepers who can't kick a football. All they care about is if they can catch it and save it out the net, which is obviously important as well.

“But I can see it changing a lot in how goalkeepers need to use their feet and be a part of the XI instead of staying on their line and just trying to save the shot.”

On competing with Bishop, he said: “I think it's going to be a battle, but a very healthy battle.

“We have spoken to each other already. We are both going to come here and give our all. We will give our all to each other.

“Whoever comes out on top comes out on top. I think there's going to be a lot of games for both of us to play

“ I think we will come here and enjoy the experience together and help each other as much as we can.

“When the new came of both of us signing we followed each other on social media and had a little chat.

“We are both in the same boat of what we want out of this loan and in a similar situation with what we want from it. We know we can't get what we want from it without the other people in your boat.”

Shelvey has already worked with Stags coach McDonagh.

“I know Seamus quite well. He was at Forest with us and we grew fond of each other,” he said.

“I think he likes me and I really like the way he teaches.

“He has a big opinion on me which is good as he has been in the game a long time.

“I think he likes the way I play and the confident way I am off the pitch as well as on it. I know what I can do and I think he likes that a lot.”

Coming from Forest, Shelvey can't wait to work with Mansfield manager Nigel Clough too.

“I have heard great things about Nigel Clough,” he said.

“Obviously being from Forest everyone knows Brian Clough and everyone knows Nigel as well.

“Just coming in here and getting some words of wisdom every now and again and hearing his stories will be a brilliant experience.

“This is going to a massive challenge for me and I can't wait to get started.”

With Bishop doing his pre-season at Old Trafford, Shelvey looks set to play in most of Stags' pre-season games and said: “I have just got to show what I can do and set the bar very high for when Nathan comes in.

“Then we can work together on the training pitch. I am excited to play and get to know the lads really well.”

He added: “I want to play. Everyone wants to play. That's my target. I want to get a lot of game time and go back to Forest and ask what's next?”

On the move to Mansfield, Shelvey said: “I am really excited to be. It's a massive club.

“I have been around these areas since I was a child and come to watch games here, so I can't wait to get going.

“I have been at Forest since I was seven years old so new scenery for me is really good and a new challenge awaits me.

“Forest is a massive club who want the best for their players and I think this is the right move for me at this moment in time.

“I have gone through the ages quite rapidly at Forest and signed contracts. I have enjoyed my time being there.”

With Forest's recent revolving door of managers, Shelvey has found it hard to be noticed.

“I have been really close to breaking into the first team squad,” he said.

“But there have been a lot of managers there which makes it hard to get yourself involved.

“Sometimes things happen, new managers come in, new players come in and you have to wait your turn.

“Patience is really important as a goalkeeper and I think this move is just going to add to the list of things that are positives for me.”

He added: “Just being in that Monday to Friday environment means something.

“You've got that game on Saturday that means so much for the fans. It's a lot different to playing U23s football or just sitting on the bench with the first team as you feel like you're just training.

“Now I am doing the Monday to Friday and seeing the challenge at the end of the week for the Saturday game. That's important to people and me as well so that's why I want this challenge.

“I want to meet new people and hear their opinions and just get my name out there.”

Shelvey gained some experience on loan at non-league Wealdstone.

“It was a brilliant experience,” he said.

“As a young keeper going into that environment I thought it would be a really hard challenge with knocks and bruises – which there were. “But I enjoyed every moment of it and I knew that after doing that I could come here and compete and do the job as well.

“I settled in quickly into that very busy scenario. You have to hit the ground running in those kind of leagues and here as well. I did and that had built my confidence a lot coming into this move.”