More Stags youngsters head out on loan
Seven of Mansfield Town's bright young talents have now been sent out on loan to gain valuable first team experience.
“It’s about playing with men,” said manager Steve Evans.
“As every team finds pre-season, when you go and play at these local clubs, they are run by professionals and are tough teams to get in.
“For these kids it’s a really tough baptism and it’s the same when we talk to Premier League clubs U23s and they have to come to League Two and be part of where three points on a Saturday is absolutely massive.”
Forward Jason Law and left-back Louis Danquah both featured in Gresley’s final pre-season friendly ahead of the new campaign as Damion Beckford-Quailey’s side ran out 2-0 winners over Evo-Stik Premier outfit Barwell.
Danquah, who can play at left-back or on the wing, set up the first goal as he picked out a Gresley trialist inside the opening five minutes.
The promising 19-year-old will be hoping to have done enough to earn a start for the season opener at Cleethorpes on Saturday.
Both Law and Danquah will be at the Moat Ground until New Year’s Eve, having signed six-month loan deals.
Also making their mark in Derbyshire are strikers Tyler Blake and Zayn Hakeem, who have joined Matlock Town on six-month and one-month loan deals, respectively.
Antigua and Barbuda U20 international Hakeem made a fine impression as the Gladiators beat local rivals Belper Town 2-1 in the Caroline Melbourne Memorial Cup.
The pacy centre-forward proved to be a handful with his lightning speed and quick feet, causing the Belper defence no end of problems.
Blake and Hakeem will both be pushing for a place in the starting XI as Matlock kick-off their new Evo-Stik Premier campaign away to Stourbridge on 13th August – the first of three games in six days.
Meanwhile, three of the Stags’ U21s defenders have today completed loan deals.
Kane Baldwin and Teddy Bloor have joined Frickley Athletic on one-month loan deals, while centre-half Kieran Harrison has signed a one-month deal with Romulus.
Frickley get their campaign underway at Newcastle Town on Saturday and Romulus travel to Corby Town in the Evo-Stick South.
Evans said: “The kids have had great development here under John Dempster, Mike Whitlow and Richard Copper and we are really pleased with the work going on there.
“But these guys came to us and said these lads need to go and play with men, so they have gone to play with men.
“We think very highly of two or three of them but they are a bit of a way from where we are as we have stepped up in terms of our quality.”
He added: “You go back to the squad here 12 months ago and two or three of those kids might have been training every day and perhaps getting on the bench.
“But we’ve moved forward some considerable way. The youth now has to move forward in terms of their standards as well.
“That’s why they are going out to play with men. When they come back and train with us the physicality will no longer be a problem.”