LOMAS ON STAGS: New signings send out big statement of intent

New boy Paul Digby signs on the dotted line for Stags.
New boy Paul Digby signs on the dotted line for Stags.

Mansfield Town sent out a statement of intent this week with five exciting signings and the promise of as many as seven more to come.

Paul Digby, Jimmy Spencer and Paul Anderson today followed Zander Diamond and Conrad Logan into the dressing room with other signings said to be imminent last night.

But Stags fans have to be pleased with the first five with former Forest winger Anderson enjoying a wealth of Championship experience, Spencer and Diamond already having achieved promotion from this division, Digby a class act from the Championship, and Logan likely to become a cult hero with the fans as he has been elsewhere in his career.

The arrival of former England U20 midfielder Digby is one that will make the rest of the division sit up and take notice of what is starting to stir in North Notts.

Although not a regular in Mick McCarthy’s team, the youngster will have learned so much there.

Anderson’s arrival from Northamptonis another big eye-opener with the 28-year-old still having plenty in the tank and so much experience at such a good level.

Striker Spencer began his career with Huddersfield Town and has impressed with his scoring prowess at several loan clubs including Cheltenham and Morecambe.

The only worry over him is injuries – he saw loan spells at Brentford and Crawley end due to injury while he missed a whole season with a knee injury at Notts County and three months of last season with a broken and dislocating an ankle at Plymouth.

However, he bounced back to help the Pilgrims go up and will hope his luck changes to give him an injury-free run.

Diamond, who came in at the weekend, is a superb capture. Northampton Town’s player of the year in League One last season, the 32-year-old was surprisingly released and Stags boss Steve Evans was straight in there.

A dominant and vociferous defender, don’t be surprised if he is the new club captain.

I am loving the stories about new keeper Logan, who was the first of the new faces.

He sounds exactly the sort of character the modern, sterile, homogeneous game is desperately short of.

I love the fact he has his own fan club north of the border, who have tattoos of him and make occasional trips south to watch his games.

Some Stags fans were worried by the prospect of Swindon Town sniffing around boss Evans, but with John Radford promising to back Evans’ summer business to the full, it’s hard to see why on earth he would want to go to a fellow League Two club, despite his friendship with their chairman, Lee Power.

It’s always flattering to be wanted – and Evans will always be wanted due to his past record.

So it’s something Stags fans will have to get used to.

But everything out the club seems to be good news right now after so many years of struggle.

It’s no surprise that Evans has helped groundsman Mez Merriman get his biggest ever budget for the pitch this summer.

With the job he has always done with it on smaller budgets in the past, I look forward to a sensational surface next season on which to see Stags stake their glory bid.