New boy Dion Donohue can add steel to Mansfield Town’s midfield

Dion Donohue signs for Stags
Dion Donohue signs for Stags

Dion Donohue believes he can add extra steel to the Mansfield Town midfield as well as excellent passing ability for the coming season.

Donohue, 25, became Stags’ fourth summer signing this week and, although he will offer vital defensive cover down the left, it is midfield where he could make his mark.

“I think I will offer a bit of versatility. I’ve played in a number of positions,” he said.

“I have had a good chat with the manager and I think midfield is where he wants me to play, where I can add some passing ability and hopefully I can also bring a bit of steel to the midfield as well.

DION DONOHUE SIGNS FOR STAGS

WATCH VIDEO OF NEW STAGS STAR DONOHUE IN ACTION

“Obviously you want to play as high as possible, so the first goal here for me is to achieve promotion.

“That’s what everyone at the club wants and I think we have a great chance of that this year.”

Wanting to move nearer his family in North Wales and after a season of illness and injury, Donohue was allowed to leave Portsmouth, despite Pompey intending to take up their year’s option on him at the end of a two-year contract.

“It was mixed emotions to leave as it’s a massive club,” he said.

“It is a brilliant club and I was delighted to go there.

“But last year I had a season hampered with injuries, so my time there didn’t end as well as I’d hoped. I still have absolutely no regrets about having gone there.

“It was a great move for me at the time.

“Portsmouth had an option on a further 12 months. I had a conversation with the manager and he was saying he wanted to take it up.

“But then I told him I would rather he didn’t as I wanted to move closer to home, and I also thought I needed a fresh start to re-energise myself and give me something to get excited about again. So I am glad they agreed to let me go.”

Donohue said the travelling did take its toll at the south coast club.

“The only good thing is there is an airport at Southampton so we did a lot of flying into Manchester, though the journey home was always coach, so that was a long journey,” he said.

“But it is a massive club and I am proud to be able to say I have played for them.”

Donohue paid a visit to the One Call Stadium last year and was impressed with what he saw.

“I came here last year,” he said. “We had a game with Portsmouth and Mansfield let us use their facility to train.

“The pitch is lovely, the stadium is nice. It’s a great club, great people, so I am really glad to have signed.

“I know Willem (Tomlinson) already through previous experiences and I have obviously played against a few of the lads so I know there is quality throughout the team. I can’t wait to join them.”

Boss John Dempster is certainly delighted to win the race for Donohue’s signature.

“Like a lot of the players we have been speaking to, there are quite a few clubs chasing them,” he said.

“Dion is someone who was at a successful League One side last year – a big club. So he knows what it’s all about with demands from supporters and the ambitions of this club.

“Having spoken to him he is looking to kick on going forward and, if he fulfils his potential, it would not surprise me this time next year if there is even more clubs interested in him.”

He added: “Dion is left-footed and can play in the middle of the pitch and also at left back.

“When he originally got his move to Portsmouth playing for Chesterfield he played a season at left back there and performed very well.

“So he is someone that gives us strength in the middle of the pitch and also down the left.

“He will hopefully do a little bit of both for us. The key to the signing was the flexibility he will give us as you don’t know what’s round the next corner.

“The fact he can play in both positions kind of tells you he is a good footballer.”