Mansfield Town sign Anthony Howell & Matt Bell

Anthony Howell
Howell made two substitute appearances for Mansfield in 2009

Mansfield Town have signed midfielder Anthony Howell from Alfreton and former Port Vale trainee defender Matt Bell on one-year contracts.

Howell, 25, helped Alfreton to promotion to the Blue Square Bet Premier last season, while 19-year-old Bell featured in Vale's reserves.

Stags boss Paul Cox said: "Anthony will give us power and pace, and will add energy to our team.

"Matt was unlucky not to have a good stint in the Vale first team."

Left-back Bell, who has been playing for Vale's second string since he was 15, added: "I want to repay the faith Paul Cox has shown in me.

"I know I am ready to make the step up. I was ready [at Port Vale] but was never given the chance to prove myself."

Howell turned down a new contract with newly-promoted Alfreton and scored 14 goals last season.

The attacking midfielder is back for a second stint at Field Mill, having previously signed in January 2009.

"It's unfinished business as far as I'm concerned and I'm very glad to be back," said Howell.

"My aims are to train hard, cement a place in the team and to be in the top five for most of the season."

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