What happens next at Mansfield?


It has been nearly over a month since the end of the season for the Stags after a play-off semi-final defeat to Newport on penalties denied the amber and blues a chance to go to Wembley and go up to League One.

Since then, the Stags have sacked manager David Flitcroft and all of his backroom staff. A few minutes later the club appointed Academy boss John Dempster as first-team manager and just recently appointed a new assistant manager in Lee Glover who will help Dempster with key decisions regarding transfers and other factors in the day to day running of the club.

But the question that all Stags fans were asking, why did the club sack David Flitcroft after such a great season?

One reason may be that he simply failed to get promoted and was sacked for not doing so.

Flitcroft was given the benefit of the doubt in the 2017-18 season as he came in late on in the season when Steve Evans departed the Stags as he failed to get into the play-offs after being in the mix for the whole season.

This campaign, the ex-Swindon manager bought many exciting players to the One Call Stadium including: Ben Turner, Otis Khan, Willem Tomlinson, Craig Davies, Neil Bishop and Ryan Sweeney in permanent deals. They also strengthened through loan signings which included: Jorge Grant, Tyler Walker, Jordan Smith, Timi Elsnik, Nicky Ajose and Gethin Jones.

With a squad that was destined for greatness in League Two, the Stags were contending in the automatic places all season and had many chances to get promoted but left it to the last game. They ended up losing which saw automatic promotion rivals MK Dons steal the spot to get back up to League One.

Failing to beat Newport County in the play-off semi-final has made many Mansfield fans question whether to stick with Flitcroft for a third season or to sack him and get another manager. It was the latter the CEO and Chairman John and Carolyn Radford chose as they terminated Flitcroft’s contract not long after the defeat.

John Dempster was appointed with Lee Glover brought in as assistant manager with the key aim for the season not being a rebuild but a strengthen in the current line-up.

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Image: Mansfield Town Website

Dempster released the retained and the released list and the following players stayed at the club:

Hayden White, Mal Benning, Matt Preston, Krystian Pearce, Alex MacDonald, Neal Bishop, Craig Davies, Otis Khan, Willem Tomlinson, Ryan Sweeney, CJ Hamilton, Omari Sterling-James, Lewis Gibbens, Jordan Graham, Alistair Smith, Danny Rose, Jimmy Knowles, Conrad Logan, Jacob Mellis, Ben Turner, Bobby Olejnik and Jason Law all being retained for next years campaign.

Will Atkinson, Zayn Hakeem and Henri Wilder were released from the club.

The newly appointed manager has had not too much experience in the managerial profession with Dempster only being the academy coach since the 2014-15 season after retiring and accepting the academy job. On the resignation of club manager Steve Evans in February 2018, Dempster assumed the role of caretaker manager, until new manager David Flitcroft was confirmed on the 1st of March 2018.

His assistant, Lee Glover has had some experience in management all around the English football leagues.

In 2003, Glover ended his playing career at Corby Town and became manager of the club. With the “Steelman” looking likely to drop into the United Counties League, a move to higher league Grantham Town turned out to be too tempting for Glover, who soon left the Northamptonshire club.

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John Dempster brings in the experienced Lee Glover as assistant manager – Image: Mansfield and Ashfield (Chad)

Glover spent two years as manager of Grantham Town, from 2004 to 2006. He was sacked by the “Gingerbreads” following a bad run of results, which saw the club relegated from the Premier Division of the Northern Premier League.

He later took the position of assistant-manager at King’s Lynn, under Keith Webb. While Glover was at the club, Lynn were promoted to the Conference North in 2007–08. Two years later, he and Webb resigned. He later worked under Nigel Clough and Steve McClaren at Derby County, where he became Senior Professional Development Coach.

In June 2016, he was appointed as Peterborough United’s assistant manager by Grant McCann after the pair got to know each other on a coaching course. His contract was terminated by director of football Barry Fry on 20 March 2017. Glover was recently at Doncaster Rovers with the side finishing sixth in League One and narrowly missing out on promotion losing to Charlton Athletic on penalties.

The Stags are yet to make any signings this summer but the club are looking more united than ever before with 1,500 season tickets sold. Compared to the 900 last season, it is set for an action-packed season for the Stags next campaign in League Two.


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EFL/EPL and F1 writer. @AdrianKitaMedia on Twitter for any comments regarding my pieces on Prost International.

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