Sheffield United: Midfielder confirms he is set for League One return as ex-Blade accepts new job

Chris Wilder wants Ben Whiteman to gain regular football in League One: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Chris Wilder wants Ben Whiteman to gain regular football in League One: Simon Bellis/Sportimage
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Ben Whiteman has admitted he is unlikely to rejoin Mansfield Town next season after completing his loan spell at Field Mill.

Instead, the Sheffield United midfielder acknowledged League One is his most likely destination after receiving assurances he still has a future at Bramall Lane.

Ben Whiteman impressed for Mansfield Town last season - Photo by Chris Holloway

Ben Whiteman impressed for Mansfield Town last season - Photo by Chris Holloway

Whiteman, who spent four months with Steve Evans’ side, said: “I think the manager wants me go out on-loan again next season,” Whiteman said. “Even though I was only there (Mansfield) for a short spell, the club is close to me, but I think it’ll be League One.”

Chris Wilder has monitored Whiteman’s progress closely since allowing him to leave South Yorkshire and, following United’s promotion to the Championship, outlined plans to hand the 20-year-old a new contract. Although Wilder believes Whiteman has the potential to become a first team regular at United, he wants the youngster to prove himself in the third tier following some impressive performances at League Two level.

Whiteman, backing his parent club to compete with the likes of Sunderland and Aston Villa, added: “Anything is possible with the squad’s quality, we’ve just got to try and get as high as possible.

“Some teams falter at the end of the season, but the boys put together four wins (after securing promotion) and reached 100 points to win the league.”

Richard Cresswell in action for Sheffield United

� BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY

Richard Cresswell in action for Sheffield United � BLADES SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY

Meanwhile, former United centre-forward Richard Cresswell has been appointed as Tadcaster Albion’s new technical director following the resignation of manager Billy Miller.

Cresswell, who works for the NCEL Premier Division club’s owners i2i Sports, will oversee coaches Michael Morton and his assistant Simon Collins.

“I have a wide-ranging brief,” he said. “I am really excited about working with Mikey and Simon who are both fantastic coaches. I will support them wherever I can, especially with the overall strategy of the club. I am confident with my experience in the professional game that I can help the management team in many different areas.”

Cresswell, who holds the UEFA Pro Coaching Licence, made nearly 150 appearances for United before joining York City four years ago. He also represented Leeds, Sheffield Wednesday, Leicester City and Preston North End.

“The new role as technical director at i2i Sports encompasses working closely with the i2i UK and international academies, helping to develop and enhance the pathway for our promising young players, not only here in the UK but from around the world,” Cresswell added.

“I’m really looking forward to the role and working with the rest of the team next season.”