The news that Mansfield had signed Kane Hemmings from Oxford United was met with utter amazement! He was key player for an Oxford side that finished 8th in League One last season and has a remarkable scoring record, so for the Stags to nab his signature is a testament to their owners and the pulling power of Steve Evans.
It was no secret that Mansfield were on the hunt for a new striker and, indeed, their opening three performances highlighted their need in that area. There was talk and rumours around a number of League One forwards that could be the potential target for the Stags but to get someone of Hemmings stature and pedigree is a real coup!
Hemmings will see this a great opportunity to prove both his ability and more importantly his fitness, which some have questioned. He certainly will get game time in Nottinghamshire and with players like Paul Anderson and Jacob Melies in the midfield he will certainly have team mates capable of supplying him with plenty of chances.
He started his career at Tamworth where he was the 2006-07 season top scorer and showed enough promise for Rangers to take a chance on him. He joined the Glasgow club in 2011 but an injury to his knee hampered his time at the club. He joined Cowdenbeath and scored 18 times in 31 matches for the Blue Brazil before moving to Barnsley. He scored five times in 29 appearances for The Tykes but was released at the end of the season and headed back up to Scotland to play for Dundee.
Back north of the border Hemmings found his scoring touch once more and netted 21 times for Dundee as well as being nominated for the PFA Player of the Year.
In July 2016 Hemmings joined Oxford United for a fee thought to be in the region of £250,000 and ended the season with six goals. Dropping down to League Two with Mansfield may seem as step backwards for the player but I fully expect it to be a spring board for both the club and player, a perfect match. Mansfield Town face a early season six pointer against Luton on Saturday, a real test of their credentials as title favourites and expect Hemmings to play a big part….
words James Richards