Change is good?

First of all I’d just like to say thanks to everyone who read my blog last week, for all those great ideas for the club motto, and of course for the fantastic support you all gave me on the Chad website and Stagsnet. It’s much appreciated, please keep it coming.

On the subject of a club motto, I came across a good one within the feature on Steve Middleton in Saturday’s match programme: “Quality and Honesty.” I quite like that and I am sure it can be tweaked to relate to football – something like “Quality in performance, honesty in success.” Any thoughts?

We have finally managed to play our first game in 2009, and under new manager David Holdsworth, bagged a 1-0 win over Crawley. We played some good football and one player who impressed me was our new goalkeeper, Alan Marriott.

Alan Marriott in action against Crawley on Saturday.

Alan Marriott in action against Crawley on Saturday.

He looked totally confident and bossed the defence about – and he didn’t sit on his line and let the defenders clear up. With that confidence it gives the team an option to attack from the back, knowing Alan is not frightened to rush off his line and save the day, whereas with Paddy Gamble our defence had to sit back and do all the work. Paddy is a good shot-stopper and although he made mistakes which were punished with goals, he did the best he could when playing for us. I wish him good luck for the future and thank him for his efforts. Alan Marriott certainly brings a wealth of experience which will hopefully make the spine of the team stronger.

 The next change was a new striker in Rob Duffy, a player who failed to impress Billy McEwan whilst on pre-season trial. Rob certainly had a point to prove and capped off a good performance with the match-winner. He made some good passes and once he and the other lads gel together we are sure to have a striker who is 110% committed.

At centre back, Scott Garner made his début, winning headers and challenges and clearing up. Hopefully he and Adie Moses can form a good partnership and “shut up shop” at the back. I suppose this poses the question of where Alan O’Hare will play when he is fit. Left back, possibly. Alex Jeanin is not the best in that position – although until he went off injured he was having a decent game. Maybe he has been to see the psychologist, or has had a friendly arm around the shoulder – a sign of David Holdsworths’ man management skills. Louis Briscoe also made his début and in my opinion didn’t have a good game, but I will give anyone time.

The one major change was the Captain, Jon D’Layrea, taking over from Adie Moses and Gary Silk. There is no doubt JD loves Mansfield Town, and therefore should be captain, I’m just hoping he can handle the responsibility of two jobs – being an inspiration to his team mates while still keeping up his very high standard of performance.Good luck, JD.

We now have two long-distance trips over the next two Saturdays – Lewes and Eastbourne – with a home game against Rushden & Diamonds to fit in midweek at home. The return of Gareth Jellyman – if only he would return wearing a Stags shirt! The big question is whether we can win away from home as well as at home – something which past managers have failed to do. We are Mansfield Town, we want to be unbeatable and we want to climb back up to where we belong – the Football League. My question this week to you, with all the new players and coaching staff, and a new captain, is “is all this change a good thing?”

Thanks for reading, keep up the fantastic support, and I’ll see you at Lewes and Eastbourne,

Up the Stags

Craig (Rainworthstag14)

“Mansfield Town Football Club – where change is welcome”?

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