Blackwood pleased with Macca signing
MICHAEL Blackwood says new signing Neil MacKenzie will provide much-needed experience to the Lambs as they prepare for life in the Conference Premier.
Blackwood knows 33-year-old MacKenzie well – the pair were team-mates at Mansfield last season.
Michael Blackwood was pleased to see his former Mansfield team-mate Neil MacKenzie join the club.
And Blackwood – who put pen to paper on a permanent deal last week, after ending last season's campaign on loan at The Lamb – is looking forward to teaming up with his former Stags' team-mate.
"Neil's definitely a good addition to the squad in my view," said Blackwood.
"He offers that bit of experience and also some creativity in the middle of the park and I think he'll be a good signing.
"He brings a lot to the team and has the ability to make things happen.
"I think we need a few players like Neil – people who have that extra bit of experience of playing in the Conference.
"We have a good set of young players here as was shown last season but you need a few experienced people who can help guide them and talk them through matches.
"There's no question that we need to strengthen for next season – it will be a really tough league.
"It is getting tougher and tougher at that level so I think signing Neil is a positive sign and hopefully they'll be a few more quality additions."
Blackwood, meanwhile, is delighted to have signed a contract for next season.
He said: "It's good to have my future sorted out already.
"In the past I have had pre-seasons where I have not sorted out my future going into July and it's not nice.
"You want to have things sorted so that you can enjoy a little break and then start to focus on the season ahead – and set a few goals.
"I made it clear that I wanted to come to Tamworth because I enjoyed my time at the end of last season.
"The lads were great and the manager [Gary Mills] was good to work with, plus I only live down the road in Sutton.
"I'm looking forward to going to Northern Ireland with the lads and hopefully we will get a good pre-season behind us.
"We are going to have to work so hard in pre-season because we are heading into a tough league, but I'm sure the gaffer will have us ready."