Mansfield Town were given a boost today when they secured extended deals with star centre half Krystian Pearce, left back Mal Benning and promising forward Omari Sterling-James.
With the trio’s current deals set to run out at the end of the season, the club have moved swiftly to tie Pearce, Benning and Sterling-James to new contracts.
The trio have all signed new one-year contracts at One Call Stadium with the club retaining an option to extend the deals by a further year.
Manager Steve Evans was delighted to agree new deals for the trio.
He said: “Krystian’s been fantastic, hasn’t he?
“He is The Chief by name and he’s one of the leaders in the dressing room. He’s charismatic, he’s positive, so Krystian fully deserves that.
“Mal Benning was out the side for long periods. I think some days he shed a tear when the team coach left because he wasn’t travelling. We said to him: ‘your form’s not there, son. Get your form right, we want to retain you.’
“Omari Sterling-James has everything in the locker. I always knew it would be a season of adjustment for him. I call him ‘cheeky chappy’, that’s what I call him. Him and (Alex) MacDonald and (Jacob) Mellis, he’s in that little gang of people but technically he’s magnificent.
“Omari Sterling-James next season will be, whatever level this football club plays, he will be a proper player for this football club. Mark my words.”
Commanding defender Pearce has made over 100 appearances for the Stags since arriving at One Call Stadium in July 2015 and has worn the captain’s armband for much of this season in the absence of club captain Zander Diamond.
The 28-year-old has made 27 League Two appearances this season, helping Stags to the fourth-best defensive record in the division.
After arriving from Walsall in 2015, attacking full-back Mal Benning quickly established himself as a favourite among Stags’ fans thanks to a string of long-range goals in his first season at One Call Stadium.
The 24-year-old has since proved to be an important part of the back four and has made the left-back position his own in recent months, finding a balance between defence and attack.
Despite not being a regular starter for the Stags, boss Steve Evans sees great potential in Omari Sterling-James, as is shown by the awarding of a new contract with the club.
The 23-year-old has made 20 appearances in all competitions for the Stags this season and has shown pace and trickery when introduced from the bench.
The former Solihull Moors man also proved his goalscoring ability with a sublime hat-trick in the Central League Cup semi-final win over Rotherham United last month.
The manager thanked chief executive officer Carolyn Radford for her diligent work in securing the future of the Stags’ trio.
“It’s a fantastic piece of business. I must congratulate Carolyn Radford. She gets these agents in and she’s just dealt with them.
“She got them over the line and I was absolutely delighted. Before they left for a few days away, she just called me up and said we’re going to take your recommendation.”