Keeperless Mansfield Town closing in on ‘rock between the sticks’

Adam Murray.
Adam Murray.

Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray feels he is closing in on his ‘rock between the sticks’ as the club remain without a goalkeeper just one week away from returning for pre-season.

Murray is hopeful he may even be able to tie up a deal tomorrow, along with possibly another defender.

On that vacant keeper’s jersey, he said: “Considering we’ve got none, it’s up there on the list. It was always a big priority from day one.

“You will see someone walk through the door when I feel it’s the right person, the right character and the right footballer to wear the jersey.

“We are close. I just need to make 100 per cent sure in my head it’s the right one.

“It’s a position I don’t think we’ve filled over the last 12 months. Since Alan Marriott left, we’ve had no one that has carried the jersey well enough over a season to take us forward.

“We have put a lot of effort into it and spoken to a number of goalkeepers that fit the bill. I have heard many names banded about and I would be lying if I said we haven’t probably spoken to all the names mentioned.

“We are looking for experience. Someone that’s achieved in their career. Someone with a presence, not just out on the pitch but in the changing room.

“We want someone that we’d be able to rely on, who has been there and done it for what is a fairly young team here now with an average age of 23/24. You need that rock between the sticks and someone that demands standards and has been in a winning environment.”

He added: “Up to now we have been very shrewd in our dealings. From the outset we sat down as a staff with the board and the chairman and we knew what route we wanted to go down.

“We spoke early on in the summer about our recruitment process and we have stuck to that.

“We have gone out there and got experience, potential and people that know the league.

“We’ve got a really good balance as is stands and I am over the moon with what we’ve brought into the building.

“We are not far away squad-wise now. We probably just need to secure a bit more in defensive areas.

“There may be one or two trialists coming in during pre-season, but I don’t want too many as it’s a time we need to spend together as a group to create team spirit and bonding.”