Leiston pull off a major double coup

RYMAN League Premier Division newcomers Leiston have pulled off a major double coup.

Leiston have won the race to sign prolific non-league goalscorer Ollie Mann and also attracted ex-Colchester United, Norwich City and Ipswich Town coach Steve Foley to the club as a replacement for Steve Ball, who is taking up a coaching position with Colchester.

The future of Brantham Athletic striker Mann has been a matter of speculation for the past 18 months after higher non-league and Football League clubs started to take notice of his goalscoring exploits.

The 22-year-old, who has scored 103 goals in the last three seasons, had a week-long trial at Colchester United earlier in the season, but it was cut short after just half-an-hour after he suffered a knee injury.

Mann said: “It is a great opportunity for me to progress my game. I have had a great time at Brantham, but I felt I needed a new challenge.

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“Leiston ticked all the boxes, so after a lot of consideration I decided to go for it.

“When I heard Steve Foley was joining as first-team coach it was a massive incentive for me. He is a well-respected guy and I have been coached by Steve in the past at Brantham. The chance to work with someone like him was a huge draw for me.”

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Foley, who has been working as a freelance coach since leaving Ipswich Town in the summer of 2010, has known Leiston manager Mark Morsley since they played together in the Clacton Sunday League around 25 years ago.

The ex-Colchester player said: “Mark Morsley approached me and it is the best offer I have had locally so far. It is a very good set-up and they are an ambitious club.”

Morsley said: “Steve’s appointment will raise everything about the club in terms of professionalism on-and-off the pitch.

Of Mann he said: “He is an exciting signing for us and will bolster what is already a decent squad.”

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