No fairytale return to Mansfield Town for ex-Stag Stephen Dawson

Former Stags Stephen Dawson in action for Scunthorpe.
Former Stags Stephen Dawson in action for Scunthorpe.

Former Mansfield Town midfield star Stephen Dawson will not be making a fairytale return to his old club.

The 33-year-old Dubliner is a free agent after the collapse of Bury and spent last week training with the Stags.

But manager John Dempster said today: “We won’t be following that up any further and he’s going to be training at a different football club from today.

“His agent contacted our head of recruitment and, with the injury situation we found ourselves in, we thought it would suit both parties for Stephen to come in and keep his fitness up and also look at him as a potential midfielder for the squad.

“As it’s panned out with the injuries coming back and Conor (Shaughnessy) signing on loan, we felt it was probably fairer to let him venture into other opportunities he has.

“But I can only sing his praises really. I only met Daws for a short period of time, but he has a really bubbly personality and was someone who will be an asset to a club if they take a chance with him.

“He is a really infectious personality. You can see why he’s been in the game for the length of time he has.

“He is an excellent character and someone who impressed us.”

Dempster continued: “On the bench on Saturday we had Neal Bishop, Will Tomlinson and Alistair Smith. So we feel we’ve got strength in depth there in that position with the injuries returning.

“Also, our new signing Conor Shaughnessy was excellent on Saturday.

“So I felt to be fair to Stephen, it was probably best for him to move on to a new challenge and try to earn a new contract elsewhere.”

Ball-winner Dawson made 115 starts for Mansfield between August 2005 and July 2008, with 13 sub appearances and scored four goals for the club.

After wages were unpaid before the collapse of Bury, a cash-strapped Dawson was forced to put his house up for sale.