Cobblers player of the year Zander Diamond has signed for Sky Bet League Two side Mansfield Town.
The Scotsman leaves Sixfields this summer after three-and-a-half years, with the club announcing last week that the player was departing.
Boss Justin Edinburgh said: “Myself and Zander sat down before the end of the season, and there was talk of a new contract.
“It didn’t get to where either party wanted, and I think from Zander’s perspective, and from talking to him as well, I think he needs and wants a new challenge, a fresh challenge, and I understand that.”
Well, that new challenge sees Diamond opt to drop down a division to play for Steve Evans’ side, with the Mansfield manager saying he fought off competion from a host of clubs in leagues one and two as well as the Scottish Premiership to get his man.
Diamond will join up with fellow Cobblers league two title winners Joel Byrom and Alfie Potter at Field Mill, and Evans could not contain his delight when he discovered he had secured the signing of the 32-year-old.
“I was absolutely delighted to receive a call late on Thursday night from Zander Diamond to confirm that he wanted to be part of what we’re trying to build at the One Call Stadium,” said Evans.
“I became very aware, not only from the representatives of the lad, but from other managers who I speak to on a regular basis, that we were in a fight to secure the services of the big man and against a host of EFL clubs, mainly in league one, but in league two and of course in the Scottish Premiership.
“Our supporters, of course, will know him. He is a dominant centre-back who is vociferous on the pitch, a leader of men.
“Not only is he Northampton Town’s current player of the year, but he is still highly ambitious and wants to be involved in another promotion campaign after his great success under Chris Wilder.”
Mansfield just missed out on a play-off place in league two this season, finishing in 12th place but only four points off the top seven.