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Former Norwich United striker Matt Blake signs long-term deal with Leiston after receiving no offers from National League clubs

PUBLISHED: 12:21 14 July 2017 | UPDATED: 12:31 14 July 2017

Leiston chairman Andy Crisp, left, Matt Blake, centre and manager Glen Driver, as Blake signs a new 3-year deal at the club.

Leiston chairman Andy Crisp, left, Matt Blake, centre and manager Glen Driver, as Blake signs a new 3-year deal at the club.

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Hot shot striker Matt Blake has signed a new three-year deal with Leiston.

Matt Blake scored 42 goals in all competitions during his first season with Leiston. Picture: James Bass Matt Blake scored 42 goals in all competitions during his first season with Leiston. Picture: James Bass

Last year’s Isthmian Premier Golden Boot winner put pen to paper last night on a new contract, with Leiston boss Glenn Driver admitting it was a ‘win-win’ for both the club and Blake.

“I’m delighted, really delighted for Matt and the club,” Driver said.

“He’s a fantastic player and a fantastic bloke and I know he has wanted to play higher, but apart from a couple of National League clubs showing a bit of interest, we have had no offers this summer.

“But we are putting no massive fee on his head should that offer come along. It’s a win-win for both us and the player. We want him and we know he’s happy here.”

Matt Blake scored 29 goals for Leiston last season. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT Matt Blake scored 29 goals for Leiston last season. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

Blake netted 29 league goals last season and 42 in total after his move up the pyramid from Norwich United, having previously also played for Wroxham and hometown club Thetford Town.

He was certainly one of, if not the, star of the Leiston show last season – a hugely successful one for Driver’s men. His new deal has also helped Driver out of a bit of a hole!

“Midfielders are ten a penny to a point, but you try and find a striker who will score you 30 league goals a season,” Driver said.

“I’ve had to think of maybe life without Blakey and I’ve made a few enquiries, but it hasn’t been easy. I just want to thank chairman Andy Crisp and the financial board at Leiston who have made this possible.

Blake turned down a move to Billericay last season wanting to stay with the Blues as his prolific scoring grabbed attention, but no offers from higher levels have materialised for the 28-year-old.

More: Former Norwich United striker Matt Blake turns down big-money move after scoring 40th goal of the season for Leiston

His popularity with fans has also grown immeasurably.

Chairman Crisp said: “As a club we took a bit of a chance on Matt last season, signing him from a team a couple of levels below us (Norwich United).

“But he proved he could do it at this level and we are delighted he has signed this new deal. It’s a big boost for the club.”

Crisp has admitted the club enjoyed the fun of last season as the Blues finished seventh.

“At the end of last season, I spoke to the financial board and we asked ourselves what are expectations are,” he said.

“We all agreed, we enjoyed last season – and we want to do it again.

“The signing of Matt on a long-term deal typifies that.”

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