Cemal Ramadan believes Bury Town will have no trouble scoring goals this season, despite losing their top goalscorer for the past few seasons, Josh Mayhew, to lower-league Stowmarket.
The 20-year-old former Ipswich Town Academy and Ireland Under-17 international said it was an easy decision to return to the club where he shone in a loan spell from the Championship side at the end of 2015.
“I spoke to Ben in the summer and I know what this club is about: it is a brilliant club, the fanbase is brilliant and the manager really sold it to me,” he said.
“The professionalism of the club was a big thing about me coming back.
“The whole set-up. Ben is very demanding of us, but he will get the best out of us and Ben was a massive reason why I came back.”
Ramadan, who had been under the guidance of former Republic of Ireland striker Alan Lee at Ipswich, scored five times in eight appearances for Bury previously, and is confident he can weigh in with plenty more in the absence of Mayhew, who top scored with 13 and 17 in the past two campaigns before this summer’s move to Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division big spenders Stowmarket.
“My big asset is scoring goals, and I like playing down the middle,” he said. “But if Ben feels the wing is the best for me, I’ll play there; wherever is best for the team.
“If I can score lots of goals this season and help the team out, that is my main goal.
“I think we have enough goalscorers in the team and we will be absolutely fine in that respect.”
After being released from Ipswich without breaking into the first-team squad, Ramadan started last season at home-town club Royston before spells with Cambridge City and Bury’s divisional rivals Soham Town Rangers, where he admits ‘things did not work out’.
But now he is determined to settle down and focus on helping Bury live up to their own expectations. And he believes pre-season has shown what they are capable of.
“I think people have seen in pre-season we’re going to be all right,” he said.
“We certainly look fit, there is a good group of lads here and we are going to have a good season.”
The Blues’ pre-season continued with back-to-back home defeats, losing their unbeaten run, six games in, to higher-league Brightlingsea Regent 2-1 (Noel Aitkens) on Saturday, before going down to a 3-1 (Cooper) defeat on Wednesday evening to Gerrard Nash’s Ipswich Town Under-23s side, which included New Zealand international Monty Patterson, Bury defender Kryan Clement’s brother Bailey, and some other young first-team fringe players in front of a crowd of 375.
A pre-match sponsors event also saw chairman Russell Ward officially open the new clubhouse at Ram Meadow, which has been in use for almost a year now.
Mildenhall Town’s title-winning right-back David Cooper appeared as a trialist in both of those games, scoring in the 93rd minute against Ipswich, and he will be looked at again tonight when Bury host higher-league neighbours Needham Market (7.45pm) in their final pre-season friendly ahead of the league campaign starting at home a week tomorrow.