Mansfield Town new boy Riley Harbottle delighted with debut after being thrown in at the deep end

New signing Riley Harbottle was pleased with his excellent first appearance for Mansfield Town in today's 1-1 friendly draw with Rotherham United.

Saturday, 16th July 2022, 6:15 pm

Despite not even having trained with his team mates and only signing earlier in the day, the promising young defender was an instant hit with fans as he began a season-long loan from neighbours Nottingham Forest.

“I am really happy to get a start here, get going and hit the ground running,” he smiled.

“It was good to get minutes in my tank.

Riley Harbottle speaks after an excellent debut for Stags today. Photo credit : Chris Holloway / The Bigger

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“I think I did well, though I think I've got more to give.

“I need to get used to the guys. Obviously I only came in yesterday and unfortunately didn't even get to train.

“The lads have made it easy for me to come into the group. They are a good bunch and I know Swanny and Perchy (Will Swann and James Perch) already. That was another factor that drew me here.”

The deal was finally completed after weeks of talks.

“It has taken a while. I went away with the Forest first team and had a good pre-season out there with them,” he said.

“Interest was from Mansfield at the start. But then a few other teams came in. But I chose to come here and I want to do my best for Mansfield.

“Part of that was down to the manager and the success he has had – the portfolio he has got.

“I went to the training ground to meet him on Thursday and the training ground speaks for itself. I don't think you'll see another like that in League Two.

“It's close to home and also, hopefully, Forest will be able to come down and watch a few games.”

He added: “I will always give 100 per cent. I like to play as well as defend. But most importantly I am a defender. I can play anywhere along the back.

“I played on the right for Forest at Burton on Tuesday and in the middle last season. I don't mind where I play as long as I am playing.

“I want to play as many games as I can and I want to be playing at the top end of the table. From the clubs that came in I felt this would be the best one for me to be pushing for promotion this year.”