Stags cast eye over troubled youngster Chapman

STAGS are running the rule over Oxford United starlet Adam Chapman (22) in the friendly games during the current two-week league lay-off with one eye on bringing the midfielder in on loan.

The Retford-based former Northern Ireland U21 international was released from a young offenders’ centre in September after serving half of a 30-month sentence for causing death by dangerous driving back in May 2009.

Chapman was texting when his car crossed over to the other side of the road and hit a car in which pensioner Tom Bryan was killed.

Just before he was jailed at Nottingham Crown Court, he was man of the match in Oxford’s Wembley play-off final win over York City and is now looking to get his career and life back on track.

Chapman, who is under contract at Oxford until the summer, is certainly among friends at Field Mill with former Oxford team mates Matt Green, Adam Murray and Rhys Day now Stags players.

“Oxford have given us permission to have a look at him in the behind-closed-doors friendly games,” said manager Paul Cox.

“This came out of the blue to be honest, but some of the lads know him and knew he was knocking about.

“One or two people know about his history and the lad has had some bad luck. He made a mistake any of us could have made. But one thing we can say is that he is a very good player and I am always interested in good players.

“He is a combative, holding midfielder who can put the foot in and can also play and pass the ball.

“Now he has a new lease of life and wants to get fit and strong again. If we can help him and he can help us then everyone is happy.”

Cox has no idea if Chapman would be available to loan for a month or the rest of the season as yet.

“You have got to respect Oxford. He is their player at the end of the day,” said Cox. “We have to abide by what they say.

“But we have to make sure we are geared for every scenario between now and the end of the season.

“Adam is a Retford lad, he is a local boy, and you never know what is round the corner.”

Born in Belfast, Chapman came through the ranks at Sheffield United but, after failing to break into their first team, followed up a successful loan at Oxford in 2009 by making the move permanent.

Huthcinson had his first taste of action on Tuesday night as Ben Hutchinson, Danny Mitchley and John Worthington all found the net in the 3-0 behind-closed-doors friendly win at Eastwood Town.

Adam Smith also played 45 minutes after his return from his loan spell at Aldershot.

On Wednesday night Mansfield Town’s youth team returned to the top of the table after beating MMU Newcastle 2-1.

Matt Harris gave Stags a 66th minute lead that lasted only nine minutes before skipper Jobe Shaw grabbed a late winner.