Matt Blake deserves move to higher level football club, says Leiston manager

Matt Blake celebrates another Leiston goal.

Matt Blake celebrates another Leiston goal. - Credit: Archant

Leiston manager Glenn Driver believes Matt Blake has the credentials to play at a higher level and said he will do all he can to make that happen, even if it results in the Blues losing their star man.

The 28-year-old striker, who has courted interest from National League side Dagenham & Redbridge this season, turned down a financially lucrative offer from Ryman Premier rivals Billericay Town, on Tuesday, opting to remain at Victory Road until the end of the season.

Blake gave the move to the Essex side some thought, given the financial carrot on offer, but is desperate to test himself at either Conference or Football League level and explained he was willing to bide his time until the summer.

The striker, who joined the Blues from Norwich United last summer, has another year left on his deal with the Blues, but his goalscoring prowess means he is likely to be playing elsewhere next season, promotion with Leiston or not, and he will go with manager Driver’s blessing.

“I genuinely believe Matt Blake deserves to play at a higher level, there has been interest from higher league clubs and we will sit down with him over the summer and try and help him get his move,” said Driver, who confirmed Billericay did not meet Leiston’s valuation of the player.

“With his desire, clubs should take a chance on him, especially given his work-rate and his pedigree to take chances.

“We will allow Matt Blake to speak to interested club and we won’t stand in his way.”

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Meanwhile, Blake has targeted reaching the 50-goal mark for the season, having hit his 40th of the campaign in Tuesday night’s 2-1 home win over Folkestone Invicta, a result that keeps the Blues firmly in the play-off mix.

“If I can get 50 goals, that’d be massive for me,” said the striker, who jumped up two leagues when signing for the Ryman Premier side

“When I signed (for Leiston), if somebody would have told me that I’d score 30, then I would have been over the moon, but to at least score 40 and to get to where I am today feels really good.

“The whole season has been crazy, I’m a confident lad and my track record shows that I score goals, but every goal I score (this season) from now on is just a bonus.”

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