Mann believes Brantham can challenge for title

OLLIE Mann believes Brantham Athletic can challenge for the Ridgeons League Premier Division title this season.

Mann scored 41 goals for Brantham as they finished in 13th place in their first season back in the top flight last season.

And the 22-year-old striker is already on the goal trail this season, banging in seven goals in six league matches so far.

Mann, who had a week-long trial with League One Colchester United cut short by injury after just half-an-hour last week, returned to action with a goal from the penalty spot in Sunday’s 2-0 Second Qualifying Round FA Vase victory away to CRC and was on target again in Wednesday night’s 3-1 defeat at Stanway Rovers.

He said: “I have been relatively pleased with my form this season, but I could have scored a few more goals!

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“We have had five wins in our first seven league games and we would probably have taken that at the start of the season.

“We have started well, and our only defeat prior to the Stanway match came at Great Yarmouth, where we lost 4-3, but it could have gone either way.”

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Great Yarmouth, who won 4-3 when the two sides met at The Wellesley a fortnight ago, are the visitors to Brantham tomorrow for a quickfire return league fixture.

Mann continued: “There is a strong possibility we can challenge for the title. Our form in the first seven league games suggests we may be are going to have a better season than last year, and hopefully we can push on.

“The league is wide open this season, and I think we are a stronger outfit than we were last season. We have strengthened in the summer and are looking to maintain our progress.”

Mann, whose current two-year contract with Brantham expires this summer, is understandably coy regarding his future as Football League clubs continue to monitor his progress.

“I am keeping an open mind. Nothing has been discussed at the moment about next season, but I am happy to see out the remainder of my contract this season,” he added.

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