Ambitions are high at Mansfield Hosiery Mills FC after landing the services and drive of Steve Peat.
The former Hucknall Town general manager has just stepped down as vice chairman at Rainworth MW following the Wrens’ decision to voluntarily step down to East Midlands Counties League level.
Deciding against offers from much bigger clubs, he now he has a new challenge after joining Notts Senior League Division One Hosiery Mills with plans to restore the run-down Fieldings ground to former glories and take the side as high as the Evo-Stik League.
“Rainworth has always been in my heart – it’s a great club,” he said.
“But I feel the club has gone as far as possible for what we are up there so I stepped down.
“I had some great offers since to be fair. Gainsborough Trinity, Belper Town, I could have gone in at Handsworth Parramore.
“I did verbally agree to go to Linby Colliery as they have always been a lovely little club, off the radar.
“But Dom Witton, the manager at Hosery Mills, said will you come and meet Hosiery Mills’ chairman Russell Booth?
“Russ said you’ve got a blank canvas here and Dom sold the club very well on his ambitions as well.
“I had asked myself if I wanted to drop as low as NSL One, but once you see the facilities it just sold itself. It really opened my eyes.”
He added: “Having had a £250,000 grant on it I was just absolutely blown away.
“The pitch is being done as we speak, all the concrete is being painted around the ground, signs are going up. It’s brilliant.
“We have a stand with 150 seats in it and the first job is just to jet-wash the moss off it. It’s been neglected.
“No one had come in to try to take it forward. I want to have a go.”
Peat has made it clear how ambitious he is to make this work.
“This will be the last club I go to, so I will try everything in my power to get it up there with the new clubs like Sherwood and AFC Mansfield,” he said.
“It will be a long, hard slog. But within the next three to five years it would be good to get as far as East Midlands Counties, and Evo-Stik would be amazing, though I don’t want to put on too much pressure.
“We want to be recognised as a football club – not just a cricket club with lovely facilities.
“We also want to encourage kids to come through and become a family club. We want to get onto the map.
“We are going to turn it round. There’s no politics from committees or anything like that. We want the get the club up and running.
“The Fieldings already has Evo-Stik standard facilities. So it’s just a case of getting the dust off the seats and rebuilding a side to compete in these leagues.
“Sutton Town were the last to use it. They disbanded in 2014 because they didn’t want to change their name into Mansfield Hosiery Mills.
“So Hosiery Mills have just been ticking along and not really progressed. Now let’s have a go at it.
“They have got kids teams with players coming through and an U21s set up this season. They have a ladies team competing as well.”
With reshuffles in the steps of the football pyramid above them, Peat is hoping Hosiery Mills could kick off at a higher level next season.
“We have applied for NSL Premier or Central Midlands. We are just waiting for this big reshuffle to happen,” he said.
“We have put in a very good case and hopefully someone at the leagues will see that, with the facilities with the ground and floodlights, we can be at least Central Midlands League.
“If we don’t succeed this season with the reshuffle, we’ll definitely be there next season with some of the players that have opted to do what I’ve done and step down a bit as well.
“If we have to stay in the NSL we intend to play some fixtures on a Friday night under the floodlights and try to get some groundhoppers in.”
Anyone wanting to get involved with the club or become a sponsor can call Steve on 07851 356237 or contact him via Stevepeat@outlook.com