Summer signing Sam Clucas is enjoying his new striker’s role with Mansfield Town and hopes he can fill the big shoes left behind by goal ace Matt Green.
The youngster, who was reported to have attracted the attention of Nottingham Forest before he had even kicked a ball in the new season for Stags, came in as a winger but has been utilised more centrally up front in the last couple of games as manager Paul Cox looks for a new front partnership.
“I am just enjoying getting some game time,” he said. “I became a footballer to play football and I don’t care where I play, I will always give 100 per cent.
“I scored a few goals in pre-season and the gaffer now wants me to take over from Matt Green, chasing flick-ons and hopefully score a few. I am learning from the manager the different runs I need to make.
“I keep hearing about how much he (Green) did for the club and I know they are big shoes to step into. I will just try my best.”
Clucas’ arrival in the Football League is testament to his determination to make it as a professional footballer.
He spent from the ages of 10 to 16 with Leicester City before he was released. He then did a BTEC at college before his home town club Lincoln City offered him a chance.
However, released by them, he went off to Spain to be part of the Glenn Hoddle Academy for released players looking to revive their hopes of turning pro and, on his return, was snapped up by Hereford United, from where he caught Mansfield’s eye.
“I went to Spain to work on what I was doing wrong seeing as I kept getting released,” said Clucas. “This is the best job in the world and, anyone who gets the chance wants to stay in football as long as they can.
“I know what a big club Mansfield are and League One and the Championship are not far away from them.”
On the Forest rumours, he added: “It’s very flattering, especially from the past I have had with getting released by clubs.
“But it’s all just speculation and I just want to concentrate on Mansfield Town and enjoy my time here. I don’t want anything to change.
“It’s great that I also get to travel in from Lincoln with Alan Marriott and Lee Beevers from Lincoln which helped with getting to know the lads in the dressing room.”
His next task will be to try to help Stags see off Dagenham and Redbridge at home tomorrow (Saturday, 3pm), and he added: “They will be fighting for the three points. But it doesn’t matter who they put in front of you. I think, on the day, we can beat anyone.”