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Maidstone United new boy Ibrahim Olutade so glad he returned missed call from head coach Hakan Hayrettin

By Craig Tucker

Striker Ibrahim Olutade returned a call from an unknown number - and landed a move to Maidstone.

Curiosity got the better of the 20-year-old who had been contacted by Stones head coach Hakan Hayrettin.

He rang back and while he didn't know who Hayrettin was to start with, the pair quickly hit it off.

Maidstone new boy Ibrahim Olutade (10395228)
Maidstone new boy Ibrahim Olutade (10395228)

A meeting followed and Olutade has signed a two-year deal after leaving Bostik Premier club Leatherhead.

He said: "The season had finished and I got a call from a random number.

"I phoned it back because I wanted to know who it was and it turned out to be Hakan.

"I didn't know him but he said he was the manager of Maidstone United and I was like, 'OK, nice to speak to you.'

"I don't think he expected me to know who he was.

"We got speaking and he said he wanted to meet, so I went with my older brother for a chat and we just clicked from our first conversation.

"We spoke and spoke and he said he wanted to sign me.

"I was so chuffed that Maidstone United came in for me.

"I spoke to my family and they were really happy and said it's a big club.

"I Googled everything about the club and saw how big it is.

"I'm so happy to join, especially with the club being full-time, which is great for my personal development.

"I had interest from other clubs but Maidstone were always top of my list."

Maidstone United head coach Hakan Hayrettin Picture: Andy Jones
Maidstone United head coach Hakan Hayrettin Picture: Andy Jones

It's been a rapid rise for Olutade who scored 37 goals for Balham in the Combined Counties League in 2017/18.

He stepped up a level to join Hanwell Town in Bostik South Central, catching Leatherhead's eye after scoring against them in the FA Cup.

The Tanners grabbed a last-minute equaliser and won the replay on penalties before making their move for Olutade.

He hit the ground running at Fetcham Grove, scoring on his debut and finishing with 13 goals having only signed in November.

He's an exciting prospect who is determined to take his chance in National League South with Maidstone.

Olutade said: "They've shown faith in me by giving me a two-year deal and I'm confident in my ability.

"As I keep stepping up I'm not scared of anything.

"I'm going to get my head down, work hard and hopefully score a lot of goals.

"Hakan said he's looking to gain promotion back to the National League.

"The way he wants to play suits my game and it was nice to hear what he had to say because it shows I'm in his plans.

"I play through the middle as a No.9 and people describe me as big and fast and strong.

"I like to use my pace to get in behind and I press defenders a lot.

"People talk about my work rate and say I don't stop running.

"Hakan didn't feel he had players playing for the badge last season.

"It made me think I'm the kind of personality he needs because I work my socks off for any team I play for and show pride in the badge. I put my heart and soul into everything."

Read more: The latest sports news in Kent

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