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Margate sign former Millwall and Dagenham and Redbridge forward Noel Leighton

Striker Noel Leighton says the decision to sign permanently for Margate was an easy one once he knew Jay Saunders was going to be in charge next season.

Saunders was unveiled as the new Gate boss on Monday and Leighton needed little persuading to commit to Hartsdown for the 2019/20 season.

Speaking to the club's website former Millwall youngster Leighton, who spent part of last season on loan at Margate, said: "Im very pleased to sign a new deal.

Margate's Noel Leighton, right, celebrates a goal with Kadell Daniel Picture: Don Walker
Margate's Noel Leighton, right, celebrates a goal with Kadell Daniel Picture: Don Walker

"As soon as I knew Jay was staying it was an easy decision and I’m very excited to get going at a good club.

“Now I get to start the season with the team and keep it going from last season and aim to get more goals."

Leighton's goals at the back end of the last campaign helped the Gate finish 12th in the Bostik Premier but his ambitions are to finish much higher next season.

He added: “It is more about the team pushing for promotion after a good end to last season and for myself I just want to get as many goals as I can. I’ve set myself a target of 20, so we will see how I go.

“During this break, it’s about doing the right things between now and pre-season and when that starts it is down to the hard work with Jay and the boys to kick on from there.”

Leighton is the third signing confirmed this week by the Blues who revealed on Thursday that defender Ben Swift and midfielder Jordy Robins are both also on board for next season.

Meanwhile forward Frannie Collin has joined Hythe Town and young defender Jack Paxman has moved to the Gate's Thanet rivals Ramsgate.

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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