DEADLINE DAY: Potter is second to sign for Stags before window shuts

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Mansfield Town tonight made their second signing on transfer deadline day when they landed Northampton Town midfielder Alfie Potts.

The player agreed terms earlier today and has passed his medical within the last hour.

It was a case of Evans finally getting his man, having pursued Potter’s signature for almost three years.

The 28-year-old midfielder was part of the Cobblers squad which ran away with League Two last season, making 26 appearances in all competitions.

“It’s taken the best part of probably three years to sign this young man because I tried to sign him when I was at Rotherham United on two occasions but we couldn’t get it over the line for different reasons,” the Stags’ boss said.

Stags sign Alex MacDonald - click HERE to read story

“I made an approach to Northampton prior to the transfer window opening and had a good chat with the technical director Andy Melville and we understood that Alfie might be becoming available.

“We’ve worked hard to get him here, so a massive thank you to John Radford (chairman) and Carolyn Radford (chief executive officer) who have been simply fantastic.

“I met Alfie for what was meant to be an initial meeting lasting half-an-hour for a general chat, and it turned into a three hour chat about football, and only football. It was a wonderful talk about football, full of enthusiasm, so we’re delighted that he said ‘yes’ despite a significant interest (from other clubs) in the kid.

“He was a big part of the success at Northampton last year and has been a big success in the early parts at Oxford United.

“He’s a player who can play in either wide areas of the pitch or centrally off a striker, and he’s technically magnificent – and I use that word appropriately. It’s my job to make sure I get that ability out of him on a weekly basis.

“He has come in the door here to add to what has already proven to be a good group.”

The manager added: “There has never been a day since my initial discussions with chairman John Radford and chief executive Carolyn Radford where it has been more evident of how successful they want their football club to be.

“At several times in the last 24 hours, I thought our latest two recruits, Alex MacDonald and Alfie Potter were not going to happen, but the support from the family who own this football club has been overwhelming to me as the manager.

“I am grateful for their support, not only now, but through my time since I joined the club. I look forward to trying to produce a team which they and our supporters can be proud of as we go forward into the second and most crucial part of the season.”

Potter had spells with both AFC Wimbledon and Millwall as a youngster before joining the youth set-up at Peterborough United in 2007.

Turning professional with the Posh, he had numerous loan spells with the likes of Havant and Waterlooville, Kettering Town and AFC Wimbledon.

Whilst with Havant and Waterlooville, Potter scored the part-timers’ second goal as they gave Liverpool a scare in the FA Cup in 2009, before eventually losing 5-2. Potter was then named as the Player of the Round for his performance at Anfield.

His final loan spell whilst at Posh was with Oxford United, with whom he signed permanently in 2010 after impressing during a year-long loan.

He scored six goals during his loan at the Kassam Stadium, including a last-minute strike in the Conference play-off final as the U’s won promotion back to the EFL after defeating York City 3-1 at Wembley.

He subsequently signed permanently for the U’s following promotion to the EFL and flourished in the next two seasons under Chris Wilder before suffering a broken ankle in February 2012.

London-born Potter returned for the start of the 2012/13 season and he finished that campaign with a career-best 10 league goals to his name.

Potter left Oxford in January 2015 and joined former club AFC Wimbledon until the end of the season.

Following the conclusion of the 2014/15 campaign, Potter joined Northampton Town and was reunited with former manager Chris Wilder, with whom he worked at Oxford United.

Potter enjoyed great success at Sixfields, winning his second promotion of his career as the Cobblers finished the 2015/16 season 13 points clear of second-placed Oxford.

Earlier today Stags signed winger Alex MacDonald from Oxford United and Potter’s arrival takes Stags’ January signings total to eight.