New Mansfield Town goalkeeper Aidan Stone can’t wait to battle for the No.1 jersey with Conrad Logan next season.
The former Burnley youngster impressed in a trial reserve game against Port Vale last season for the Stags and is now a third goalkeeper for a department that will be without injured Bobby Olejnik for at least another three months.
“I spoke to Conrad Logan when I came into training on trial towards the back end of the season,” said Stone.
“He is a really nice guy – he encourages you and has a great work ethic. To be able to challenge with someone like that only excites me.
“Hopefully we can push each other, so in the end, the club is moving forward. It’s a great opportunity to work alongside him.
“I’m hoping that his experience rubs off on me both on and off the pitch. He knows how to act and the way he conducts himself is something that I am really looking forward to learning from.
“I did have the opportunity to learn from the first team keepers at Burnley. But this environment, where I am closer to Conrad and the rest of the group, is one that will only make me a better player.”
On his strengths as a keeper, he said: “I’d say my shot-stopping ability and my distribution into wide areas. I’m able to pick a pass out quite easily, and playing with my feet is one of my main strengths.
“It’s something that I have worked on for quite a few years now. I’d say that’s definitely one of my main strengths.
“I thought the trial match went quite well. I had been told I wasn’t getting a contract at Burnley so I was a bit nervous going into the game.
“I didn’t know many of the lads, but the way that they helped me ease into the game really made me feel welcome.
“I was gutted to concede in the last few minutes when I thought I’d kept a clean sheet.
“I didn’t know a whole lot about Mansfield to be honest. But since coming in it has a good feel to it.”
Stone said of manager John Dempster: “As a boss, he is a great guy. I’ve had a couple of conversations with him, and he knows what he wants.
“He has a plan and hopefully I want to kick on and help with that.
“On the whole, he is a really nice guy. People speak highly of him and I can see why.”
Looking back on his time at Turf Moor, he said: “I have good memories from Burnley. They are the club that gave me the opportunity to get into professional football, coming from non-league.
“I have fond memories from the back end of last season, getting into the Lancashire Senior Cup final, which was a big step forward for the club at U23 level.
“To play in that final against our local rivals Blackburn was something special, and a good game to be involved in.
“At Burnley I learned the way that you should act as a professional, from people like the senior goalkeepers at the club.
“You learn more about yourself. You always think you’re working hard, but when you go into that environment, you know that’s the level you need to be at.
“The determination and the work rate are what you learn and I want to kick on here now. I want to come back from Portugal and hit the ground running.”