Mansfield: John Dempster sits down with Footy Accumulators


After narrowly missing out on the League Two play-offs due to a heartbreaking 5-3 penalty shootout defeat to Newport County earlier this month, Mansfield Town will look to pick themselves and go again next term, but it won't be under the guidance of David Flitcroft.

The Stags dismissed Flitcroft two weeks ago, with new manager John Dempster immediately announced as his successor at Field Mill. Dempster, who spent four years playing for the club between 2011-2015, was promoted from his role as youth team manager after enjoying a successful spell in charge of the U18's, where he won the EFL Youth Alliance title three years in a row.

The former centre-half, who also counts Rushden & Diamonds, Oxford United and Crawley Town on his playing CV, revealed that it was "an absolute honour" to be named as Mansfield's first team boss, and cannot wait to get stuck into his demanding new roll at the East Midlands club as they look to challenge for the League Two title next season.

In an exclusive interview with FootyAccumulators, the 36-year-old revealed what his plans are for the upcoming season, and how he plans on re-motivating the Stags after their recent play-off disappointment. We also quizzed him about that hilarious carpool rap video (included below), and just what happens when a landlord asks him and his housemate for a rent deposit back..



How did you feel when you were told that you'd be getting the first-team manager’s job on a full-time basis?

Excited. Having been at the football club for a number of years, I’m aware of the progression that’s been made over time. With the current squad and with the backing and support of the whole club, it’s a really exciting opportunity for me.

How has the transition from playing to management been for you so far, and do you think you're ready for the step up from youth to first-team football?

The transition from playing into the academy was a challenging one. Obviously, longer hours and getting used to the organisation and admin side of things was demanding but is something I feel has developed me and stands me in good stead going forward into the first team environment. In terms of dealing with the challenges ahead of me with the first team; I’m confident in dealing with older players and I’m confident in managing up with our board of directors who I already have a good relationship with.

What is the first thing you'll do to help re-motivate your squad after missing out so narrowly on promotion this season?

I’ve already done that. I’ve communicated with each player individually. We spoke about their desires and what motivates them individually amongst other things.

You've been at Mansfield for a total of eight years, both playing and managing, so obviously know the club inside out - how do you think this will benefit you in your new position this season?

Greatly because, although some people may look at me as an inexperienced first team manager, I see myself as an manager in this particular situation because I know the club so well inside out and all the way down to the academy.

Tyler Walker has obviously now returned to Nottingham Forest after his season-long loan at the club came to an end, is there a possibility you being able to get him back for this season?

There’s a small chance, I haven’t touched base with Tyler to wish him well. Realistically, we understand Nottingham Forest might want him in and around their squad or there might be clubs from higher divisions so with everything considered, there’s a small chance he may be back with us.

You fended off plenty of interest for CJ Hamilton in January, he had a tremendous season - do you think you'll be able to retain him during the summer?

CJ is under contract at Mansfield Town, so he is a Stags’ player and I’m looking forward to working with him in pre-season and beyond.

Away from the pitch, you're quite the linguist... talk us through your rapping career and that famous video of you in the backseat of a car on the way to training...

The rapping generally came out on Christmas do’s or end of season do’s when I was a player. Unfortunately, now I’ve gone into the coaching and management side of things, I’m not as much as a good laugh as I was!

Finally, friend of FootyAccums Gaz Seddon has been in contact and wants us to ask... what happens when a landlord wants to take the rent deposit off him?

I wouldn’t like to say because I might be incriminating Gaz! Generally, my answer to that would be ‘nothing’ but in Gaz’s eyes, there might be retribution, shall we say!

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