Mansfield Town today announced that former defender Mark Peters has returned to the club in a new role as Head of Academy coaching.
Peters, who will be known to some supporters after a five-year spell at the club earlier in his career, will work alongside Academy manager John Dempster in the club’s new youth set-up.
It coincides with the news that the Football Association have confirmed that Mansfield Town have been awarded EPPP (Elite Player Performance Plan) category four status following much hard work behind the scenes.
The Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP) is a long-term strategy designed to take youth development to the next level.
The EPPP is the result of consultation between the Premier League and its clubs, representatives of the Football League, the Football Association and other key football stakeholders.
It has six fundamental principles:
• Increase the number and quality of home grown players gaining professional contracts in the clubs and playing first team football at the highest level
• Create more time for players to play and be coached
• Improve coaching provision
• Implement a system of effective measurement and quality assurance
• Positively influence strategic investment into the Academy System, demonstrating value for money
• Seek to implement significant gains in every aspect of player development
Peters said: “We’ve just been granted the EPPP licence from the Football Association so my role will be delivering the coaching (and taking) the philosophy of the club from the first team right the way down to the U9s.
“We (myself and Adam Murray, the manager) spent a full day together and we sat down and went through what the club wants from each player, both on and off the pitch. We discussed strengths and weaknesses of each player and how we’re going to work on the weaknesses and how we’re going to play as a team.
“It was a full in-depth process. I’ve then gone home and written that up into what will be the philosophy of the club and it’s a very thought out process. It’s very measured and if everyone buys into it then it’s a key to success at the club.
“We’re trying to develop a very, very professional culture. Everything the players do won’t be off the cuff, it’ll be thought through – right from what they eat to what they do in their spare time, to how they conduct themselves in public, the way that they conduct themselves in games, etcetera.
“Everything we do will be as professional as possible to give them the best chance of breaking through to the first team.”
Speaking in more general terms regarding his return to One Call Stadium, he added: “It’s an absolute pleasure to return to the club and it brings back a lot of memories.
“It was a club that I enjoyed playing for and I had a good rapport with the supporters. I think they could see that I would always give 110 per cent to the cause and we had a very successful year when I joined the club.
“I think we scored the most goals out of all four teams that year which was incredible. We beat teams well and had a 7-1 win here against Hereford, so I’ve got some very fond memories of the place and the people.”
As a player, Peters played for the Stags between 1994 to 1999, during a career which spanned two decades. Amongst other clubs, he played for Cambridge United and Rushden & Diamonds, where he enjoyed two promotions.