John Radford's ambition and home sweet home lured Graham Coughlan to become Mansfield Town's new manager

Graham Coughlan
Graham Coughlan

Graham Coughlan said the ambition of chairman John Radford and a chance to live at home with his family again after over 10 years on the road were the biggest factors in him deciding to become the new Mansfield Town manager.

Coughlan has quit League One Bristol Rovers to join the struggling League Two Stags and said: “It is obviously a massive opportunity and a massive chance for me at this football club.

“It was down to how John Radford spoke, the way he wanted to go, the ambition he was displaying, and the facilities. The training facilities here are a lot better than many of the Championship clubs - they are very impressive.

“But his ambition was the main attraction.

“It was a tremendous and huge opportunity to take on a football club and try to get them promoted.

“But the club is obviously local to my family and my home, so that has a big bearing on it too. I have been away from home for the last 10/11 years.

“Leaving Rovers was an horrendous decision to make and a terrible, terrible 48 hours. It was a really tough decision with a lot of variables to it. There were a lot of pros and cons, weighing things up.

“To move on from where we were in League One was really difficult.

“Bristol Rovers were brilliant and it was a great 12 months we had, rising from obscurity really to get into a challenging position.”

He added: “It was a tough decision, but I have not spent enough time with my kids or my family over a 10/11 year period. That was just getting to me and weighing me down.

“So the opportunity to manage a club with the ambition of Mansfield Town and be at home with my wife and kids was an absolute mammoth attraction.

“I think I will be a happier person and my life will be more fulfilled. It will make a massive difference to myself and my wife.

“It's really hard when you are 10/11 years on the road and having a microwaved meal for one. You just sit in watching four walls of an evening, it's really difficult living a life like that.

“You have to look at your own personal well-being. You just don't know the avenues you could end up going down.”