Ollie happy to let his goals do the talking
HOT property Ollie Mann is happy to let his goals do the talking.
Blue Square Bet South champions-elect Braintree Town are believed to be leading the chase to sign the 21-year-old who just can’t stop scoring.
The Brantham Athletic striker netted a hat-trick in the 6-4 win against Histon Reserves last Saturday to take his tally to 25 goals in the Ridgeons League Premier Division so far this season - and that despite not playing until mid-September following the club’s promotion from Division One last season.
Mann, who is contracted to Brantham until the end of next season, is well aware of the inevitable speculation surrounding his future, but he said: “If clubs are interested in me then I haven’t been told about it.
“I am very ambitious, but I don’t know who has been watching me. I am happy here at the moment, but I would not turn down the opportunity to play at a higher level if the chance comes along.”
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Mann, who plundered 36 goals in Division One last season, was laid low at the start of the current campaign by the combination of a knee injury and glandular fever.
“It took me a good couple of months to find my feet as I came back too quickly. It was not until just before Christmas that I stated to feel 100 per cent - before that I was labouring,” he said.
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Mann, whose hat-trick last Saturday took him three goals clear of long-time leader Danny Beaumont of Dereham at the top of the goalscoring charts, said he never doubted that he would be able to score goals in the Premier Division this season, although he has surprised himself.
“I can’t quite believe that I am currently the league’s top scorer, although I was confident I could get goals at this level and I am on course to achieve a good total this season.
“I thought it would be difficult because it is a higher league, and the top teams in particular are very strong - far superior to those in Division One.”
But Mann does not talk like a player who is about to leave the club he returned to after being released by Colchester United’s Academy as a schoolboy and has been with ever since apart from one season with Harwich & Parkeston at Under-18 level.
“I am enjoying it at Brantham and hopefully we can have a good end to the season and try to push on and be a top-10 side next season.
“The whole team has been playing well, especially in recent weeks. We played Wroxham away at the end of November and got a 2-2 draw even though we ended the game with nine men. It was a really tough game and everyone showed a lot of character, and since then we have done well.
“We are still inconsistent, but it is our first season at this level and hopefully next season will be even better for us.”