The Evo-Stik Northern Premier League top scorer believes Worksop Town have a ‘massive’ chance of promotion this season.
Leon Mettam, who has hit the net an incredible 21 times this season already, captained his Worksop Town team to a 6-1 win on Saturday with his second hat-trick in two games.
The 26-year-old believes Tigers’ form, and the four new recruits signed late last week, will serve notice to the rest of the league that the Sandy Lane men intend to have a real crack at escaping to the Conference North.
Speaking to the Guardian after Saturday’s win, Mettam said: “The atmosphere around camp has been absolutely brilliant all year, we’re a tight, tight squad.”
“And we’ve brought in a few additions this week that have only made us stronger, and they’re great lads.”
“Other teams in the league might start perking up and having a look, and seeing that Worksop are having a go.”
He lauded the generosity of club owner Jason Clark for ditching the budget restraints he imposed on manager Mark Shaw in the summer, allowing him to sign Adam Murray, Jan Budtz, Jake Scott and Josh Williams last week.
“There aren’t many chairmen in non league who will loosen the purse strings, after giving his gaffer a budget at the start of the year,” he said.
“He’s probably seen the results and realised we could do something.”
“And there’s a massive chance.”
But Mettam is under no illusions as to the size of the task facing Worksop.
His first season as a Tiger saw a ‘bug budget’ squad fail to make the play-offs, leading to the departure of management team Simon Clark and Dave Frecklington.
“Some people say the league isn’t as strong this year, with Hednesford and North Ferriby going up, but there are still good teams in the league, and some very good players who have dropped out of the league.”
“To get out of any league it’s really tough, especially this one.”
Undoubtedly one of the most prolific teams in the country, Worksop have notched 72 goals in 24 games, averaging three a game.
And the arrival of experienced centre-half Adam Quinn on loan, along with goalkeepers Jon Stewart and more recently Jan Budtz, has slowed the rate of the goals going in against them.
Mettam said: “Quinny has massive experience, he’s played all his career in the Conference I think, so to bring him in and get the back four alongside him is great.”
“The big keeper Jon (Stewart) was doing great for us before he got injured, and now we’ve brought Jan in - he’s played all his career in the leagues above.”
“It just helps stem the flow of goals.”
“If me Jack and Dents can keep doing the business going forward, we’ve got a chance.”
While he’s currently on track to double last season’s tally of 23 goals, Mettam is also likely to at least match the number of spot-kicks he won last term.
And he’s not ashamed of that statistic.
“I get a bit of criticism for maybe going down too easily. I don’t think I go down easy, if the defenders are going to leave their leg there and there’s contact, I’m going to do gown.”
“It’s a team game, and whether it’s me taking the penalties or not it’s going to help the team.”
“Last year I think I took one, missed one and didn’t take another all season - and I won 15. It’s not just winning them for myself, it’s for the team.”