Forest talent George Shelvey made his debut for Mansfield Town last night and endured a baptism of fire wearing the gloves for the first time in a professional environment. The Stags were beaten 3-1 by in-form Harrogate Town as the Papa John’s Trophy got underway.
The young goalkeeper has had a taste of working alongside professional players. He was on the bench for Forest as they lost 2-0 to Chelsea during the 2019/20 campaign. Last season, he spent some time on loan with Wealdstone in the National League.
Shelvey has linked up with Nigel Clough for the 2021/22 campaign. The son of Forest’s legendary boss Brian has a proud history of developing young talent and the 19-year-old will hope to benefit.
He’s under no illusions of his place though. Clough said when he signed Shelvey that he wouldn’t be the first choice. The Stags have also added Nathan Bishop to their ranks and the talented Manchester United custodian will hold the gloves as the primary option.
How did Shelvey perform on his debut?
Well, it didn’t quite go according to plan. He was probably at fault for two of the three goals, with nerves perhaps getting the better of the Forest youngster.
Danilo Orsi-Dadomo scored a hat-trick on the night. For the first, Shelvey thought he had both hands on the ball, although Trevor Kettle begged to differ.
The second came on the counter after the Stags had missed a penalty. A tame effort from the Harrogate man somehow ended up in the Mansfield net.
Orsi-Dadomo’s third came on the back of three efforts all of which Shelvey parried. For his development, he will hope to either parry those to safety or catch the efforts in the future.
Will a lack of football harm Shelvey’s chances of making an impact at Forest?
It does seem perhaps strange that the Reds have loaned Shelvey to a club where they know he won’t play much football. It does suggest that at this stage of his development, the club feels being part of a matchday squad will be just as beneficial as actually playing.
In Clough, he will have a strong mentor. The Mansfield boss is a good man-manager and he should learn a lot from the former Forest talisman.
Shelvey will perhaps see next season as the year where he goes out on loan to a club that views him as a first-choice goalkeeper, with this year used merely for development purposes.
Shelvey will be keen to park this performance at Harrogate and look forward to his next game.
For Mansfield fans, they shouldn’t worry just yet. Shelvey is rated highly by Forest goalkeeper coach Nick Colgan and one performance doesn’t define a player.
As a Category One academy, it’s rare that Forest produce players that can’t play. Shelvey shouldn’t be any different and he’ll hope to perform better next time out.