Bury Town manager Ben Chenery believes Ipswich Town have unearthed another non-League gem, if they sign up reported Ryman League target Dumebi Dumaka.
The West Suffolk Blues’ chief has seen first-hand the damage the 21-year-old can do after he terrorised Bury’s fragile backline at Ram Meadow back in March, scoring an 84th minute winner as well as thundering a 25 yard volley back off the crossbar.
And Chenery’s advice to Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy on the player who has hit 15 goals in nine games for Grays Athletic, would be simple: go for it.
“He is a player who has done really well so far this year and there has been a lot of noise around him,” said the former Luton Town and Cambridge United defender who began his career in the youth set-up at Ipswich.
“He is one of those players who maybe didn’t push on when he was 18 or 19 but has benefitted from coming down into non-League where the challenges are continuously flying in and it is unforgiving, meaning you have to learn to be strong.
“It is a big step up (to the Championship) but you never know until you give these people the opportunities.
“He has scored a lot of goals, and if you do that at any level you are always going to attract interest.”
It would not be the first time McCarthy has dipped into the semi-professional game for a player for his Town squad, with left-back Tyrone Mings, sold to Premier League new boys AFC Bournemouth in a reported £8 million deal over the summer having been picked up from Southern League Premier Division side Chippenham Town for just a £10,000 fee.
It would not be the first time McCarthy and his chief scout Dave Bowman had made a move for a Grays Athletic player, having famously polished up a non-League gem when signing winger Michael Kightly in their time at previous club Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Striker Jamie Vardy’s rise from non-League Fleetwood Town to England starter has shown that the dream can still be achieved in today’s game, and Chenery sees no reason why pacey Dumaka, also said to be drawing the attention of West Ham United, cannot be the next to rise to prominence.
“I have played with players that have come from non-League and rise through the ranks,” he said.
“Grays have done excellent and the management staff there are very good (at developing players).
“Glenn Little played for Reading and Burnley and he will have made a very professional environment around the club.
“They also have a mdifielder (Nathan Ferguson) who is an exciting player and people have also been watching him.”
Dumaka, affectionately known at the Essex club as ‘DD’, signed for Grays in August last year having previously been playing at Heybridge Swifts and Barking.
He also scored against AFC Sudbury last season to prevent the Suffolk side reaching a second Robert Dyas Isthmian League Cup semi-final in February’s quarter-final tie.
While most of the area’s non-League sides are in action tonight in the Suffolk Premier Cup, a competition which has seen Ipswich Town enter a team in Suffolk FA’s county cup for the first time since 2012/13 with an under-18s side, Bury will wait another 24 hours before kicking off at lower league Kirkley and Pakefield on Wednesday (7.45pm).
Chenery’s side, who recorded a thrilling 3-3 draw at Ryman League Division One North leaders Cray Wanderers on Saturday, having led 3-1, have injury concerns over senior quartet John Kennedy, Remi Garrett, Alex Steed and recently signed former AFC Sudbury mdidfielder Ollie Canfer.
The Bury boss has said he will be looking to give some youngsters, including Matt Collins and Alfie Bedingham, the chance to shine alongside some fringe players.