Takaloo wants a new challenge
MAIDSTONE UNITED have announced the capture of Ramsgate striker Mo Takaoo, writes Stephen McCartney.
Takaloo has opted to move to the Stones on a one-year contract having scored 32 goals last season and finishing second in the Golden Boot award with the Southwood Stadium outfit.
Stones manager Lloyd Hume will be hoping for a similar return from the striker for next season as the club build up their promotion challenge.
The 25-year-old striker started his career at Margate where he was involved in their squad that earned successive promotions to the Nationwide Conference. He also served loan spells with Tonbridge Angels and Dartford but personal circumstances lead to his move to Ramsgate three years ago.
He had trials with Scunthorpe United but his ambitions were thwarted when Margate put a price tag on him.
Speaking about the signing, Hume told the club's website www.maidstoneunited.co.uk : "I'm obviously delighted to secure him for next season as he's such a talent up front and generally recognised as one of the best players in the league at the moment.
"Had it not been for his knee injury at the end of last season I'm sure he would have won the Golden Boot award.
"He's now 100% fit having rested that knee and he's exactly the type of player we have been looking for up front to help take this club on to the next level.
"I played against him when he was at Margate and was impressed then, and seeing him again this season I was similarly impressed.
"He has great abilities on the ball, not only scoring goals, but he's able to both create his own goals and hold up the ball with his strong physically presence.
"I think there's still a lot more to come from him and he's come to Maidstone because of his ambition rather than for purely monetary reasons so he will certainly develop as the club develops."
Takaloo has given his reasons for choosing Kent League football with Maidstone United over Ryman League division one football with the Rams: "Having won the double with Ramsgate, I felt I needed a new challenge, and although Ryman League football was attractive, I'm used to winning trophies and I see Maidstone United winning the league next season and continuing that success at higher levels of the pyramid.
"The Stones were the only club I wanted to play for in the Kent League, with the new ground on the horizon and a very professional set up at the club I felt it was the right decision to make in terms of my future career."
Speaking about linking up with the squad, Takaloo, was particularly looking forward to linking up with some of the club's senior players.
"Jimmy Strouts particularly impressed me in our games last season and as I'm a player who prefers to have the ball played to feet rather than the long ball, with players like Jimmy and Peter Overton I'm hoping I will continue to score goals and go one better next season and win the Golden Boot."
Maidstone chairman Paul Bowden-Brown was similarly upbeat about the signing and added: "The striker told us he realises the potential of Maidstone United and sees his career developing with the club, as we hopefully rise through the divisions.
"I also realise there was a lot of speculation for a few weeks but at no point did we approach the striker.
"He came to us having made up his mind up to leave Ramsgate and we are very happy he has opted to join us."
Ramsgate boss Jim Ward, however, admitted Takaloo would have been fourth choice striker in their Ryman League division one campaign.
Speaking to www.kentishfootball.co.uk former Maidstone United manager Ward added: "I've got Shaun Welford and Steffan Ball (signed recently from Greenwich Borough) and looking at signing another local centre forward that plays Southern League football.
"I've been doing these deals for six to eight weeks knowing these three lads were going to be my strike force for next year.
"From the other side of the coin I wish Mo all the best. He's furthered his career, in his opinion, by staying in the Kent League.
"He obviously didn't fancy the Ryman League so he goes with my best wishes."