Thank You: Phil Buxton

Monday's news of the confirmed takeover by the North of England Football Academy has also confirmed the news that manager Phil Buxton and assistant manager Joe Kearney have both left their roles within the club.


Both were exemplary role models within the club and did the Bulls proud in their season in charge, delivering on Andy Saunders' goal of developing youngsters and securing survival in the Northern Premier Easter Counties League Premier Division.


Buxton himself has been a brilliant servant to the club, racking up 328 appearances as a player and solidifying himself as the Bulls all-time record appearance holder.


"Bucko" first came into the club in 2012 at the forming of AFC Mansfield, and made 44 appearances in the club's debut season, where the Bulls had a brilliant season with 176 goals and falling to defeat just twice. Despite narrowly losing out on the title to Dronfield, Buxton played a major role in clinching the Notts Intermediate Cup with a victory over Beeston.

Another piece of silverware would also arrive, with the Floodlit Cup victory over Newark Town.


The 2013/14 season, which saw Buxton manage 47 appearances for the Bulls, also saw AFC grasp the Central Midlands Football League North Division title and therefore promotion, alongside the cup double, lifting the League Cup after beating Thorne Colliery.


Following the club and Buxton's promotion to the Northern Counties East Football League Division One, the midfielder adapted comfortably to the higher tier, making 47 appearances once again and coming just one match away from the quarter finals of the FA Vase, which was a record run.


Buxton continued to lead the Bulls to success and promotion, as his side gained promotion to the Northern Counties Eastern League Premier Division. However, it would be the 2017/18 season which would perhaps be Mansfield and Buxton's best campaign to date after the midfielder briefly departed the club for the second half of the previous season. Promotion to the Northern Premier League Eastern Division, tier eight of the footballing pyramid, and facing National League North side Boston United in the FA Cup in front of a record crowd of 600 spectators. A reshuffle of the leagues also saw the Bulls promoted once again to the Northern Premier League.


After 43 appearances in the Northern Premier League, the Bulls were relegated due to ground regulations, and after a combined 45 appearances in his final two seasons as a player, Buxton, who was manager of the Bulls U21's team and captain of the club, was

unveiled as the official first team manager of the club.


Buxton enjoyed his season in charge of the club, as the stalwart helped guide the Bulls to safety and fulfilled the chairman's goal of integrating academy players into the first team, as youngsters such as Kian Sketchley, Kacper Rajter and Ewan McKenna all made applaudable impressions in the first team.


Following 'Bucko's' departure from the club, everyone at AFC Mansfield would like to thank Phil for all of his incredible commitment and diligence throughout the years, he and his entire family will always be welcome at the Forest Town Arena.