Former Mansfield Town midfield favourite Jamie McGuire has described new Stags boss John Dempster as ‘a winner’.
And in his new role as the club’s academy head of recruitment, the 35-year-old McGuire intends to help his former team mate to success by finding him home-grown stars of the future.
McGuire spent four years as a player for Mansfield between 2013 and 2017 before becoming a Stags academy coach and his new role was revealed by the club last night.
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“He (John Dempster) is a winner. The way he’s built the academy up is ridiculous – he’s left it in a really good place,” said McGuire.
“I was absolutely made up for him when he was named first team manager – to call him gaffer now is great!
“He has a strong squad with strong characters in there, which he can add to. We were unlucky last year but I think we can do it this year.
“The thing with Demps is that he’s a winner, and you’ll see that on the pitch – his players will be winners.”
He added: “When I came to Mansfield, he was captain and you look up to your captain. I played with him for two years.
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“I bounced off him every day and he bounced off me. Then he helped me out so much with my coaching and took me under his wing.
“I think he will bring the club even closer together. I’m looking forward to seeing the fans get behind him now.
“I see the fans outside the stadium, and I want them to win. The players care a lot and want Mansfield to win as well.”
McGuire knows fans love to see ‘one of their own’ come through and so will place an emphasis on scouting the Mansfield area for emerging young talent.
“We’re always looking, because we always want to strengthen up,” he said.
“The first team is really strong and the gaffer is trying to bring in some great players, but we’re also looking to do that with the academy.
“You’re always looking for that next elite player. With my new role, I want to look at what we have in Mansfield, because there is good talent here.
“When you look at Mansfield teams of the past, when you had the likes of Liam Lawrence, Bobby Hassell, Alex Baptiste, those were local boys.
“There are some really good coaches here who really care about Mansfield Town. They are always looking for the next Liam Lawrence or the next Alex Baptiste.”
He added: “There might be one in the U16s now who is ready for a scholarship. They’re there in our system, but we need to watch other teams as well because other players are out there that we might want to bring into our system.
“The talent is out there, we just have to go and find it. We have some really good scholars coming through now, but we can always find that extra one or two that’s out there.
“I want to take this responsibility. I have done it out there on the pitch as a captain and a player.
“Now I want to help the academy get even stronger.”