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Margate sign former West Ham youngster Matthias Fanimo who once came out top in speed tests against rivals including Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale

By Mark Stokes

Margate boss Nikki Bull has added some real pace to his squad by signing a winger who was once dubbed the fastest footballer on the planet.

Former West Ham youngster Matthias Fanimo came out top in testing ahead of the likes of world greats Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo.

He has signed for Gate having been with Vanarama National League side Eastleigh last season.

Nikki Bull Picture: Martin Apps
Nikki Bull Picture: Martin Apps

Bull revealed that he signed the 22-year-old after getting the opinion of close friend, Ben Strevens, who is assistant manager at the Hampshire club.

Gate boss Bull said: "Matty's 22 and he's exactly the right profile for what we want. He does not just tick some of the boxes he ticks all of them. He will add genuine pace on the wing which is something we didn't have last season.

"He's another one who has had a taste of the pro game and he's desperate to get back there. He's working with a personal trainer and you only have to look at what he's done over the summer to see how serious he is. Some of the sessions are mind-blowing.

"He's coming to us in A1 condition and he knows that to fulfil his potential he needs to be playing regularly. I think we can give him that platform."

Fanimo, who describes himself as "fast and direct," joined West Ham at the age of seven.

He signed pro in 2011 but made just three appearances, the first of which was as an 18-year-old substitute against Crewe Alexandra in the Carling Cup in August 2012.

While at Upton Park he made headlines, in May 2014, when he became the joint fastest footballer in the world along with Manchester United’s Antonio Valencia.

The Hammers used GPS technology to measure their academy players during games and Fanimo - who has represented England at under-16, under-17 and under-18 level - came out on top. Among those left in his slipstream were Welsh talisman Bale and Portuguese ace Ronaldo.

During his time with the Hammers Fanimo was a regular member of their under-21 development squad and also had brief spell on loan at Tranmere before being released in February, 2015.

He started last season in Vanarama National League South with Bishop's Stortford but then moved to Eastleigh where he found his opportunities restricted and he was released at the end of the campaign.

Bull says his squad is now '90 per cent' complete but he admits it looks unlikely he will be able to push through a deal for striker Daniel Akindayini, who had a brief loan spell at Hartsdown last season.

The 20-year-old, who was released by Brighton at the end of the season, had been in talks with the Blues, but Bull thinks the ex-Tottenham man will accept one of the other offers he has on the table.

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