The Sussex non-league ace being watched by 14 clubs - including SEVEN Premier League outfits

Clubs in the Premier League have woken up to the talents of Ollie Tanner at Lewes.

Tanner takes the kick.. Picture: James Boyes
Tanner takes the kick.. Picture: James Boyes

Seven clubs from the English top flight had scouts among 14 who watched the 19-year-old produce outstanding display in Lewes' win over Merstham last weekend.

They saw Tanner produce yet another amazing performance. The youngster helped Lewes beat Merstham 3-0 on Saturday by placing a 30-yard free kick into the top corner just a few minutes into the game, all while he had influential sets of eyes looking at him.

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Lewes FC boss Tony Russell is full praise for the in-form player: “On Saturday there was 14 clubs watching him, seven of them from the Premier League, then he obviously stuck on in the top corner after two minutes so it shows you a little bit about the character of the man. He’s done very well.”

Ollie Tanner lines up his early free-kick... Picture: James Boyes

It's not just Tanner the boss has been impressed by of late - 22-year-old Michael Klass has been one of Russell’s stand out players who has looked immense in centre midfield this season.

“I think Michael Klass in the last couple months has probably been our best player. He come from Southend United, young player, but as the season has gone on, he has just grown into the role and his performances have just been outstanding. At the moment, he is the one we are most excited about,” Russell said.

Although Lewes claimed an important three points on Saturday, Russell still thinks the scoreline flattered the hosts and there is still work to be done.

“I didn’t think we were at our best, for whatever reason I don’t know," he said. "Maybe the players didn’t give Merstham the respect they deserve. But full credit to them, they can come away from the game feeling a little bit unlucky not to have scored a goal. We are going to have to do a lot better than that to come away with something this year.”

... and is congratulated after it goes in / Picture: James Boyes

Also worrying for Russell was a couple of injuries in game. “Bradley Pritchard came off with a tight hamstring and Taylor Maloney rolled his ankle, so they are going to have to be assessed for the next game.

“We may look to bring a player in this week because we are a little low on numbers. With our loans going out as well we will need to bring in one if not two.”

With Lewes sitting in second place ahead of Saturday's visit of Brightlingsea Regent to the Pan, Russell thinks there is still a very long way to go.

“Our Achilles heel has been teams at the bottom end of the table, and we have dropped crazy points to the teams down there. Second, third and sixth from bottom beat us. You add those nine points and we are top of the league. Our next two home games are very important and I am not taking them lightly.”