CHASE IS HOTTING UP FOR AKINOLA
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