It’s one of the toughest days on the football calendar for Mansfield Town’s players tomorrow (Thursday) as they return for the first day of pre-season training.
But it’s not as gruelling these days as it once was with players far more clued up on nutrition and fitness and keeping themselves in much better shape through the summer break for the return to action.
Stags have four days back with boss Steve Evans before they jet off for a pre-season camp and friendly over in Malta. It’s a far cry from our photos from 1967 when the Stags headed for the beach at Skegness to begin to get themselves into shape for the forthcoming Division Three season.
With no official chairman in the hot seat after Tommy Eason resigned, boss Tommy Cummings had just moved on to Aston Villa and late in July Stags appointed Tommy Eggleston.
With Eggleston and assistant Jock Basford arriving too late to bring in any new players, Stags were up against it and ended the season in a relegation spot.
However, due to a 19-point deduction for financial irregularities at Peterborough United, the Posh slipped below them and Stags had a reprieve.
Even then it was only by a 0.0074 goal average above Grimsby Town.
A dreadful season was compounded by an embarrassing 5-1 FA Cup exit to non-League Tow Law Town as Stags went out in the first round of all three cups.