Saturday, January 26, 2008


Mansfield Town

I've been meaning to do something about Mansfield Town for a while now. In a country where football is all hype Mansfield have perhaps the lowest profile of any of the 92 clubs. Quite simply perhaps the only thing they are famous for is not having a railway station in the town. (Of course now they have one!)

The Stags as they are known play in Yellow and Blue which puts them in exalted company for in Singapore Tampines Rovers also play in Yellow and Blue. And they are known as the Stags! Bizarre innit? Or do I really have too much time on my hands?

Alvin Stardust lived there when he was young. Mansfield I mean, not Tampines.

But while for most of the football world Mansfield may as well not exist for their hardy support they are the alpha and omega of their world. While the media is focussed on the race for the Premiership down in Division Two Mansfield Town have their sights set on more realistic goals. Like avoiding the drop out of the League 2 altogether. Like beating local rivals Chesterfield.

Today however the Stags will have their moment in the spotlight as they host Middlesbrough in the FA Cup 4th Round at their tiny Field Mill ground. Beamed around the world many people in South East Asia will be seeing and hearing of the club for the first time and for once the romance of the cup will actually mean something.

Yes, eyes will be on Havant and Waterlooville's trip to Anfield and you can bet cameras will be following the thousands of H & W fans who have crawled out of the Hampshire woodwork to make the long trip north but who cares?

Mansfield are nothing. They have always been nothing, except of course to their loyal support, but today they will be something and they will make a few bob out of being something. Ideally they could earn a replay and get a share of the reciepts up at Boro but today at least they can forget about being the second worst team in the country and focus on Gareth Southgate's Midllesborough and fleeting fame.

Tuesday they are away at Lincoln City, local rivals and perhaps more important for the club and its fans. But Tuesday the cameras will have gone and Mansfield will go back to be just another team on the pools coupon.


went to a mansfield match last year against Notts County. It was a good day out. Not much in the city accept a nice looking modern bridge that crosses the main highway.

Stadium was ok, not pathetic, but nothing spectacular. About 3,500 passionate fans and a nice travel support for Notts County.
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