CHASE IS HOT­TING UP FOR AKI­NOLA

The Football League Paper - - INSIDE - By Sam El­liott

THE race is on to land Non-League foot­ball’s lat­est big prospect – with Wolves one of the clubs look­ing to get their teeth into ar­guably grass­roots foot­ball’s hottest tal­ent.

Brain­tree Town’s Simeon Aki­nola is ex­pected to leave the Na­tional League club in the com­ing weeks as one of the most sought-af­ter play­ers out­side of the Foot­ball League con­tin­ues to at­tract “enor­mous” in­ter­est.

The Foot­ball League Pa­per un­der­stands League One di­a­mond pol­ish­ers Peter­bor­ough United, who have a rich his­tory of sign­ing and pro­gress­ing lower league tal­ent, are also weigh­ing up an ap­proach.

Ri­vals Mill­wall and Southend have also had him watched closely a num­ber of times with Aki­nola, who op­er­ates on the wing and up front, earn­ing rave re­views in the Con­fer­ence.

League Two trio Cam­bridge United, Bris­tol Rovers and Carlisle United are all ex­pected to get in­volved in the bid­ding.

An auc­tion will soon get un­der way for the 21-yearold, who Town signed from Ry­man Premier side Har­row Bor­ough in Au­gust 2014.

Brain­tree chair­man Lee Harding wouldn’t be drawn on the clubs lead­ing the chase but did con­firm the Es­sex side have al­ready turned down of­fers.

He be­lieves clubs are now fo­cus­ing more on spot­ting young semi-pro­fes­sional tal­ent fol­low­ing the emer­gence of for­mer Stocks­bridge Park Steels and FC Hal­i­fax part-timer Jamie Vardy, now one of the Premier League’s most feared for­wards.

Harding said: “I think it’s fair to de­scribe the in­ter­est as enor­mous. At a re­cent home game 17 Foot­ball League clubs sent scouts and many have been in touch to talk. We’ve had of­fers which have been re­jected.

“We re­ally feel he is a spe­cial player and so do a lot of other peo­ple.

“I cer­tainly be­lieve he is worth six fig­ures, that’s the type of of­fers I think a player of his tal­ent de­serves to be at­tract­ing. Sim is the most level-headed player I have met in all my time in foot­ball.”

OF­FERS: Simeon Aki­nola

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