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Bartley: I'm staggered Wycombe haven't come to watch him
THE manager of Marlow FC says he is amazed that Wycombe Wanderers haven’t been to watch a player on their doorstep who is attracting interest from at least three other Football League clubs.
Mark Bartley says creative midfielder Ben Gladwin, 21, has everything necessary to make it in League football and fears one of Wanderers’ rivals will snatch him from under their noses.
Bartley said: “I’m absolutely staggered that Wycombe haven’t come down to watch him.
“I think he could do a job for them this season. He’s definitely good enough for League football.”
Gladwin has had contract offers from teams in the Southern Premier League and Conference South this season, but the player is holding out for a move into League football.
Bartley said: “Rather than take one step forward, he’s turned down more money in order to take three or four steps forward.
“He’s had three or four approaches from higher up the pyramid this year and three League clubs have been to watch him, one from Yorkshire and one of them twice.
“As a manager you know it’s only a matter of time.
“He’s the best player on the pitch week in, week out and I don’t really know what more a kid has to do.
“But I do know that someone will take a chance on him and it would be a shame if it’s not a local club.
“He’s non contract so would cost them nothing, and it would be nice to think we were contributing to a local team higher up the pyramid.”
It goes without saying that the leap from non-league to the Football League is immense, and not everyone can make it.
However, Blues manager Gareth Ainsworth says he will make the trip to Oak Tree Road himself.
He said: “I went down to Marlow last year to look at a centre forward [Ian Davies]. But it might be something we’ll have to re-address and this might be a lead into it.
“It’s always difficult. We had the guy who scored 80 goals in the Ryman Premier and we got him down and he admitted himself it was a big jump.
“But it would be stupid not to follow leads up so I appreciate the tip off and if there is someone down there I’ll be down there myself.”
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