The Evo-Stik League Northern Premier
Published 10th May 2012
.....for a move back into full-time football, with Blue Square Bet Premier outfit Mansfield Town heading the list of possible suitors.
Pitmen boss Rob Smith confirmed he’s spoken to Mansfield counterpart Paul Cox about Clements but insisted they were not formal talks.
The ex-Crewe Alexandra trainee was on trial at npower Championship side Burnley last week and is keen to return to the pro game.
Smith told the Express & Star: “The ball is in their Mansfield’s court – as yet it’s a conversation between two managers.
“We spoke about many things and Chris was something that was mentioned during that.”
And Smith confirmed that the club have taken their option to extend Clements’ contract for another year, so they should get compensation.
The manager said: “There is interest from a lot of clubs and, although we are keen to keep him, I wouldn’t want to stand in the way of a full-time offer.
“I have spoken to Chris and I totally accept he wants to play at a higher level – in some ways he needs to move on.
“But any deal also has to be right for the club.”
Clements scored in Burnley’s reserve match against Tranmere last week and was instrumental in the Clarets’ 3-1 win.
The 22-year-old has caught the eye since arriving from Crewe in March 2010, following a short loan spell at Keys Park.
In his second season at the club, the Birmingham-born man landed the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League’s young player of the year award.
Clements felt his Burnley trial went well, but added that he would only leave Hednesford for a move to a full-time club.
He said: “It did me good to have the opportunity to show what I can do – there was a lot more passing, which suited me.
“I was nervous and just wanted to impress whoever was watching.
“But it went well, once I had settled down, and just playing at Turf Moor was an experience in itself.
“I want to play as high as I can, either in the Football League or full-time football and I wouldn’t want to go anywhere else if it was only part-time.
“Since I left Crewe, Hednesford have took me in and I have learned a lot.”
Clements’ agent Gino Culbertson revealed Burnley have already asked to take a closer look at the player.
Culbertson said: “Chris impressed tremendously at Burnley and they want him back in pre-season.
“But we have to look at all options – it’s very important he makes the right move at this stage of his career.”