Mansfield Town this afternoon added midfielder Simon Heslop to their ranks ahead of the home friendly with Leeds United The 27-year-old joins the Stags on a free transfer, having previously been at Stevenage for whom he made 27 appearances in Sky Bet League One last term.
His signing today was aided by £2, 021 - the final amount of money in the 12th Stag fund, set up in March 2010 to produce extra cash for transfers. Prior to his one-year spell at the Lamex Stadium, Heslop enjoyed a three-year stint at Oxford United during which he racked up over 100 appearances and scored nine goals. A box-to-box midfielder, the Yorkshireman can’t wait to get started at One Call Stadium. “(Supporters) can expect to see a lot of hard-work from me,” said Heslop, who started his professional career at Barnsley.
“My fitness levels are usually ‘up there’ and I should be getting up and down the pitch well. I won’t shirk a challenge and I’d like to think I’m decent on the ball.”
Born in North Yorkshire, Heslop signed his first professional deal with Barnsley in early 2005. The midfielder was unable to break into the first team in his six-year career at Oakwell, but spent time on loan at several lower-league clubs and gained valuable experience. He featured on 26 occasions during a spell at Kidderminster Harriers in 2005/06, before spending a large chunk of the following campaign on loan at Tamworth. In 2007/08, he turned out for both Northwich Victoria and Halifax Town in the Conference Premier and gained a taste of life in the Football League when he spent two months on loan at Grimsby Town in 2009/10. The midfielder then had short stints with Kettering Town and Luton Town prior to being released by Barnsley in May 2010, at which point Chris Wilder, then-manager of Oxford United, moved quickly to secure his services. Now Heslop will face competition for a midfield starting place from Adam Murray, Jamie McGuire, Chris Clements, Fergus Bell and Jack Thomas this season. He could make his debut in tonight’s clash with Leeds United at One Call Stadium.