Steve Evans was quickest off the mark to sign Omari Sterling-James this week when a contractual loophole saw him available to sign for free from National League Solihull Moors.
The 23-year-old can play as a winger or central striker and Mansfield Town manager Evans was delighted to make him Stags’ 13th summer signing.
“He is a young man who was brought to our attention around Christmas time, though we knew him before when he played non-league and got a move up to Cheltenham,” recalled Evans.
“We looked at him then but didn’t think he was quite right or ready for the level.
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“But he has been outstanding at Solihull and the only reason we didn’t go for him earlier in the window was because he was subject to quite an expensive transfer fee.
“Then I became aware through the channels that due to a slight administrative error and suddenly the player was available to move without a transfer fee which suddenly changes your thought process.”
Seeing him sign for League Two Mansfield has raised a few eyebrows.
“Every judge of non-League football I have spoken to since Monday said they thought we were fortunate to get him as they thought he would be going to League One,” said Evans.
“We won’t talk him up any more than that. I see him as a central striker. He is rapid quick and I can see him being deployed wide as well depending on what shape or system we play.
“Paul and I have both seen him play as a central striker.
“We are just going to put him in a little bottle and take the cork off at the start of the season and see if he can jump out like a genie and play. It could be Omari the genie!”