Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough has inspired members of Mansfield Town Football in the Community’s Walking Football group to get their boots back on, following the easing of lockdown restrictions around organised sport.
The former Nottingham Forest and Liverpool striker who took over as Stags boss in November 2020 joined a handful of participants via Zoom recently [31st March] to talk about memories of his playing days, childhood, move into management and much more.
Participants also had the opportunity to ask questions and share stories ahead of sessions restarting on Saturday 10th April.
Media & Communications Officer Craig Priest who chaired the meeting said “We send our thanks to Nigel for generously giving up his time to chat to our participants, he was very open, honest and warm and really helped to Inspire our participants to get back out onto the pitch.
“A fair majority of participants have been shielding, not seeing family & friends, or because of the nature of the job they do, have been unable to work leaving them feeling cut-off, so to be able to have Nigel join them for a chat was brilliant for their well-being, seeing them laugh and smile was a fantastic feeling.
“I was inundated with messages afterwards saying how much they’d enjoyed the chat and I know they’ve all been talking about it in their whatsapp group – it’s given them something to reconnect over after so many months away which is exactly what we set out to do.”
Retired Participant Richard Bradley commented “The evening really perked me up, it was lovely to hear Nigel talking about his time in the game, and as a Stags fan, what he’s planning for next season. It’s got me buzzing to return to playing next week”
Gary Davies, one of the squads’ goalkeepers, said “This was the first time I’ve been able to log onto a Zoom with Craig and the lads helping me get it set-up, it really lifted the mood of the squad immensely after these dark days. I’m looking forward to kick off next weekend, it’s left me with a really warm feeling.
Fellow shot stopper Chris Priest shared his delight in speaking with the Stags boss “Nigel was absolutely brilliant speaking about his career and of course his Dad. Since he [Nigel] arrived I’ve been telling the lads about when I met Brian playing Squash in Nottingham, but nobody believed me – until Nigel admitted his Dad spent more time on a squash court at times which backs up what I’ve been saying – the reactions was priceless, a brilliant night was had by all”
Participant Paul Stokes added “I really enjoyed the evening – being able to have a serious talk and also a laugh with the manager is priceless – come on you Stags!”
Mansfield Town Football in the Community’s Walking Football program is open to males and females aged 45 and over, and takes place every Saturday morning 9-10am at the One Call Stadium on the 3G pitch, costing £4 per participant per session.
Supporters who have access to the clubs iFollow platform, can watch the Zoom call in full