Mansfield Town blog: Letting former Conference title winners depart One Call Stadium is vital to club’s progress
With job security seemingly at an all-time low, and chairmen demanding more than ever before, the strenuous nature of the job could even be seen as knee-buckling.
It is evident that the role requires the full-time attention and commitment of a manager, and may leave you baffled as to why I am even considering the prospect that, three weeks since the end of the 2014/15 season, Adam may have a part-time job as a janitor.
The clean up operation at the One Call Stadium has been dramatic to say the least, and personally, one that I never thought I’d see coming to such an extent. Many of the players from the title-winning conference season had almost become part of the furniture, and were more than on their way to becoming Mansfield Town antiques, but not necessarily the fine China we are looking for.
Although the likes of Lee Beevers, Matt Rhead and Richie Sutton have been great servants to the club, I feel that the decision to let them leave, or offer a contract which could ultimately be bettered elsewhere, was the correct decision by Murray as he takes the club into a new era.
It seems that players have finally been offered deals reflective of their ability and worth to our squad, and, considering the fact that Murray had been team mates with much of the squad for at least two years, this was no small feat.
Wednesday brought a particular scrubbing of the worst strike-force in League Two, with Rakish Bingham and Liam Hearn leaving for pastures new.
It would be unfair to hedge the blame of our measly goal tally solely on these two, with the “hitman” suffering an unfortunate recurrence of a past injury just as the season was born, and young Bingham (whom Paul Cox said we were paying “peanuts”) ending up joint top scorer in a side devoid of any confidence. It was clear once again that the deals were reduced or altered, and that the two players did not want/couldn’t afford to buy into Murray’s vision.
Given Hearn’s track record of injuries, a pay-as-you-play deal was definitely the most efficient use of our budget, and would’ve been a shrewd piece of business had he signed and lived up to the potential of last pre-season. Hopefully he can resuscitate his career with the fellow ex-stags at Lincoln.
Rakish had apparently been contacted by Ronnie Moore at Hartlepool, where he had a reasonably successful (and presumably happy) loan spell earlier last season.
Although young and showing signs of potential, he would have been no more than a back-up for me, and will not be sorely missed. More signs of sensible rinsing of last year’s squad by Adam.
If the previous two weeks had been the elbow grease phase of the cleaning process, Thursday and Friday were undoubtedly the polished finish of the early exchanges of the close season.
Murray has outlined his three tiers of recruitment, stating how all our new recruits would affect the top end of the division.
He has also refreshingly swept excuses about our budget and the such like out of the door, ones that had been all too familiar in the past.
Murray’s teasing comments about deals being very close were blown into whole new proportions as the club’s official twitter took to social media to give an almost Christmas Eve like feel to the day.
Firstly tormentingly asking if we’d like to see a signing, then revealing that the i’s had been dotted and the t’s had been crossed. And then he emerged. The amber and blue messiah, Sir Matthew Green.
I can’t recall having a grin so jaw-aching since his last couple of goals that ultimately won us promotion what feels like an age ago.
Nothing for me could have backed up Murray’s word more than the signing of Greeny, and has thoroughly filled me with excitement for the new season.
Although far less marquee, the signing of attacking left-back Malvind Benning from Walsall around an hour after Green’s was arguably just as promising and also true to AM’s claims.
Without getting carried away, it is fair to say that early signs of a shiny, well-oiled machine may be coming together at Field Mill.
The next few weeks will hopefully continue in the same tone. Existing players firstly have to make their decision whether to buy into Muzza’s plan, which clearly has more substance to it since Friday.
Aand those receiving offers from the Stags and other clubs have to do the same. Time will eventually tell, but there is one thing I am already sure of; I would hire Adam to be a part-time cleaner any day of the week.