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Young Stags sign deals

Posted onPosted on 6th Mar
Young Stags sign deals

Mansfield Town have handed professional deals to 17-year-olds Joe Fitzpatrick and Corbin Shires until the end of next season.

Eighteen-year-old Jack Thomas, who has starred for the first team this year, has also agreed terms until the end of the 2016/17 campaign.

Thomas has progressed through the Stags’ youth system, where he was captain, and featured in the last five matches in Sky Bet League Two – collecting two Man of the Match awards for his efforts.

Fitzpatrick, a highly-gifted technical player, has impressed at youth level throughout this season and recently made his professional debut in the Stags’ away match at Morecambe.

Shires, a towering 6ft 4in, has recently spent time on loan at Evo-Stik Division One (South) outfit Carlton Town and was on the score-sheet for the Millers in a recent win at Kidsgrove Athletic.

Speaking about the players individually ahead of tomorrow’s game at Cheltenham Town, the Stags boss was full of praise.

On Thomas, he said: “Jack has been excellent since he’s come in and has done exactly what I knew he would do. It’s about us now looking after him and getting the best out of him at the right time.

“The work, physically and technically, will go into him and he’ll improve in that aspect, but the biggest thing will be to keep him focussed.

“I’ve been where Jack is now and probably seen the wrong side of things, as well as the good side, so I’ll manage him in my way and I’ll get the best out of him as I see it. I’ll be strict with him, but at the same time I’ll be fair, and he’ll be a great asset for the football club.”

Regarding Fitzpatrick, Murray continued: “He loves the ball and is technically outstanding. I put him in the same bracket as Chris Clements, potentially.

“We’re now getting into him the other side of the game – the physical side – and what you have to do without the ball. Joe really excites me.”

On Shires, Murray added: “I think he’s got the potential to be a complete centre-half – he’s tall and he’s got the feet of a wizard.

“When you’ve got those two ingredients for a centre-back, it’s brilliant. He can play, he’s not scared of the ball and he can defend well.

“He’s only ‘a baby’ and he’s a part of the future of this football club. He’s a part of the base that I want to evolve at this club and is one of a number [of players] that I’m really pleased with.”