Leiston striker Matt Blake harbours dream of playing Conference football
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Leiston striker Matt Blake wants to fulfil his dream of playing Conference football, but insists he’ll be in a ‘win-win situation’ should he remain with the Blues.
The 28-year-old Ryman Premier Golden Boot winner scored 42 goals in all competitions for the Blues last term, as Glenn Driver’s men just missed out on an end-of-season play-off spot.
That form saw him attract interest from clubs higher up the pyramid, Blake also turning down a big-money move to Premier Division rivals Billericay Town, in March.
“I am in a win-win situation whatever happens,” said Blake.
“If I do move on it will be to play higher and that’s what I want to do, but if I don’t, and I stay at Leiston, I will be at a club that looks after me and where I enjoy playing football.
“If I am being honest, the Conference is the league I want to play in as I am no spring chicken, I am 28. It might have been different had I been 23 or 24.
“But we will see what happens and I am not going to dwell on it if it doesn’t happen.”
Driver has confirmed to the EADT that the club had yet to receive any bids for Blake but has previously stated that the Blues would not stand in the way of their star striker should a higher-placed club come in for him.
With goalscorers a rare commodity at all levels, there is likely to be interest in the Thetford-born frontman, who has recently seen Dover Athletic striker Ricky Miller – the scorer of 40 goals in the Conference Premier this season – seal a free transfer move to League One side Peterborough.
“That’s unbelievable for the lad, he is a striker like myself and the same age, so he must be loving that,” enthused Blake.
“It goes to show that people will get chances if they score goals and, having seen Ricky Miller on YouTube, he is a baller.”
Whatever Blake’s next move, the hitman is likely to have control of his own destiny.
“I have never had an agent, I have had 20-or so looking to sign me up, but the way I look at it, I don’t need one if someone sees me scoring goals,” he explained.
Meanwhile, Leiston’s Ipswich-based winger Joe Francis has left the club after four years.
The 30-year-old scored 42 goals in 136 appearances for the Victory Road club, but cited the travelling involved, as a father of two young children, behind the decision.