New Stags boss brings in Badgers’ star turns

THE Paul Cox revolution at Field Mill began this week with the signing of two of Eastwood Town’s hottest properties from his former club.

Ambitious young manager Cox was announced as the replacement for Duncan Russell on Thursday and, as expected, he went straight back to the Badgers’ sett to capture the signatures of Lee Stevenson and Lindon Meikle, two of his star men from last season’s successful BSB North side, for undisclosed fees.

Prolific midfielder Stevenson has netted 96 goals in his last three seasons, including 35 in the campaign just finished, while Meikle (23), who can play as a forward or speedy winger, netted 34 goals in 84 starts for the Badgers.

“Lee is one of the hottest proerties in non-League football while I think Lindon will come as a big suprise to a lot of people at this club. They are two excellent players, full of ability, and more importantly, full of desire to win.

“Lee could definitely play at League level and has that something you can’t coach - he is a natural goalcorer.”

Stevenson, who started as a trainee at Sheffield Wednesday, later went on to impress at King’s Lynn and Belper Town before signing for Eastwood.

After putting pen to paper on a two year deal, he told “The season’s just finished but I can’t wait to get on the training pitch and show everyone what I can do.

“I know Jon D’Laryea and Tom Naylor and they say it’s a fantastic club. I went to look around other clubs but I got a good feeling about this place.”

Meikle has been with Cox at Eastwood since the age of 16 but has also had trials with clubs like Newcastle United and Forest and even had Liverpool monitoring his progress.

“Lindon can catch pigeons he is so quick,” said Cox. “Going full-time is definitely going to benefit him fitness wise, technically and tactically as, until now he has only trained twice a week.

“He wasn’t the fans’ favourite at Eastwood for nothing and, if his end product was better, he’d be at Championship level.”

He added: “My phone has been going non-stop, mostly with agents offering me players. I need to decide if they want to come here because they are ambitious and want to play for this club or if they just think they can come here and get a big wage packet.”

Cox, who will announce a retained list by the end of the week, will begin pre-season on 1st July and is expected to bring in his former Eastwood assistant Richard Cooper to work alongside him. However, after speaking with former Stags assistant boss Paul Hall, he said there could still be a role for Hall next season.

Cox also promised his Stags side would not be route one. “You do need a bit of height, presence, power and pace, but the game is all about entertaining,” he said. “We will want to get it wide and get as many balls into the box as possible which centre forwards thrive on.”