Former Mansfield Town keeper Ian Deakin back as the club’s new commercial executive
Former Mansfield Town goalkeeper Ian Deakin has been appointed the club's new commercial executive to replace the recently departed Paul Nyland.
Deakin, 34, who already works for the club as head of recruitment with the Stags Academy as well as managing United Counties League club Long Eaton United, is thrilled to take up the new role at a club where he was No.2 to Alan Marriott in Stags' first season back in the EFL in 2013/14
“Paul (Nyland) did a fantastic job. I know him well,” said Deakin.
“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.
“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.”
He added: “We have brought in some new sponsorship for the scoreboard this week and the signs will be going up before the Carlisle game.
“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.”
Deakin will continue to manage Long Eaton on a Saturday until the end of the season, and the Blues are currently unbeaten in the league.
“With my Long Eaton role at the moment I am just going to be here Monday to Friday and get to games as and when I can,” said Deakin.
“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 delighted to be offered 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.”
He added: “I have been in the academy role for nearly two years now.
He added: “Coops (Academy manager Richard Cooper) and myself were at Forest together, so I have known him for a long time now.”
Deakin is happy to be given the green light to complete his target of getting Long Eaton promoted this season, having been unbeaten when Covid halted the league last season and now carrying on that unbeaten run this season.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Deakin has fond memories of his season with Mansfield, which reunited him with his former Eastwood boss Paul Cox.
“Injuries continued to plague me at Mansfield and I think I had a torn shoulder and a torn quad muscle – it never really worked out as well as I wanted it to,” he said.
“I don't believe I ever had an injury-free season apart from when I was young and coming through the youth system.
“But I still had a great time at the club – it was fantastic.
“I went in as No.2 to Alan Marriott but really struggled with the injuries. The mind wanted to but the body wasn't working as well as it should have done. I never really got going.
“When Alan was injured, I played a game as a fitness test away at Hartlepool but didn't come through it and it was emergency loan time for the club.
“The stars didn't align for me while I was here but I still had a great time.
“It was a good experience but I still look back on it and wish I had managed to stay a bit fitter and play more games for the club and be there a bit longer.
“It's funny how things change and you end up coming back in a different capacity.
“It's interesting as you see how a football club works from the other side.
“As a player you just turn up with your boots and train and play and don't see the hard work that goes on behind the scenes.”
He added: “I still call Paul Cox the gaffer now. I worked with him for probably eight years of my career – a big chunk of it and he was very good at getting the best out of players.
“He understood what it required at the level of football he was playing at to get results.
“The Conference is very difficult to get out of – it's a very tough league. But he managed to do that.
“Paul Cox and Paul Hart were the two biggest influences on my career going into management and coaching.”