Loyal servant Buxton named as new boss by Bulls
AFC Mansfield have announced that club captain and longest serving player Phil Buxton will be their new manager to replace Matt Chatfield, who has moved to Grantham Town.
Buxton first joined AFC Mansfield as a player back in 2012 and has gone on to make over 300 appearances for the club, helping the Bulls rise up the leagues and gaining promotion from the NCEL Division One back in 2016.
In 2020 Buxton was also made joint U21s manager.
The club also confirmed that Joe Kearney will be joining Buxton in the dug out as assistant. Kearney holds a UEFA B licence.
“I am feeling really, really excited,” said Buxton.
“Obviously I am pleased with the opportunity that the chairman has given me. I have been here quite a long time and served the club really well.
“But it's now obviously time I now stepped into a management position. I had a taste of it last year with the U21s and this is a great opportunity and I can't wait to get going.”
Buxton pledged to bring some of those U21s into the first team fold.
“From my time with the U21s I have identified five or six that I'd like to take through straight away,” he said.
“We want to develop that transition through from youth football to men's football and I think it gives us a great opportunity, especially working with Wayne (Clarke) – the U21s manager – to give that youth the promotion it needs and give it the opportunities.
“If players are playing well in the U21s they will definitely get a chance under me in the first team.”
Buxton will demand high standards from his former team mates, saying: “I will expect hard work, dedication and players putting 100 per cent into the badge – that is really important to me.
“I have been here a long time and have the club at heart.
“So it's really important to me that when the players step onto the pitch under me and Joe, they are going to give us everything for that shirt and the club.”
The Bulls now wait to see where they will compete in the new reshuffled pyramid set-up.
“We've got to wait and see what league we are actually going to be in,” said Buxton.
“It could be one of two – either a Northern league or a Southern League.
“The Southern League could bring us local derbies and opportunities to bring more fans through the door.
“If it is the Northern League obviously I am very aware of that league and I have lots of experience within it. I think we would be absolutely fine within that. We are just waiting on the decision from the FA.”
He added: “I want to personally thank Matt and Stan (John Stancliffe) and the staff that were here before. I think we've had a great two years and developed hugely as a club. They did an amazing job.
“For me personally Matt was absolutely brilliant. He made me club captain and gave me the responsibility of moving into the U21s
“It wasn't just down to Matt. It was down to all the staff who worked with him too and I'd like to thank him and his staff for doing a brilliant job over the last two years.”
AFC Mansfield chairman Andrew Saunders said: “I'm happy Phil has accepted the position of first team manager.
“He is someone I've known for a long time and knows the club inside out.”