Christian James looks at the career of a striker who has found his feet on the continent...
Lamin Colley.Lamin Colley.
Lamin Colley.

This week’s Pilgrim in Profile played a handful of games under Dennis Greene and Adam Murray, scoring once.

He’s since represented Northern Premier League clubs and had trials back at Boston before a couple of moves across Europe which saw him turning out in Slovenia’s Second Division. It's Lamin Colley.

Born in Gambia, Colley turned down Scarborough Athletic at the last minute to join Dennis Greene’s Boston after leaving Bradford Park Avenue in the summer of 2016. The 23-year-old had previously been at Stockport County, Liversedge, Harrogate Railway and Farsley Celtic before his move to the Horsfall in 2015.

Colley had come on in County’s season opening 2-1 win over Boston, and also featured in Park Avenue’s 3-0 defeat at York Street in April 2016, when striker Liam Dickinson started in goal for the visitors.

The 6’4’’ Colley made himself a good target in pre-season, equalising in John Blackwell’s testimonial against Peterborough United (1-1) either side of strikes in away wins at Boston Town and King’s Lynn.

Competition, in the form of Gregg Smith, arrived in late July after Greene was impressed by the Stamford man, whilst Callum Chippendale scored a hat-trick past Paul Bastock in a 3-3 draw.

Smith was suspended for the opening two games, so with Greene wanting a big man up top Colley started the opening day defeat to Stalybridge Celtic, one of only three wins for the club away from Bower Fold all season as they were relegated in 21st place.

Facing Spalding United.Facing Spalding United.
Facing Spalding United.

Colley missed a penalty, and was subsequently dropped for Waide Fairhurst.

Colley came on at Harrogate and Darlington - where Smith debuted - as United started with three defeats, and again Colley was named amongst the substitutes for the next home game with Tamworth.

Misfortune for Fairhurst, who injured his foot opening the scoring, handed Colley the chance to make an impact alongside Smith, and the Pilgrims won 3-0 - Colley opening his competitive Pilgrims account with an improvised effort from Joe Burgess’ long throw.

It was to be the zenith of his time at Boston, five appearances in two months followed before snubbed Scarborough took him in on a month’s loan. After scoring on debut for the Seadogs against Droyslden, Colley saw out his five weeks before returning to a United side now lead by Murray.

Facing Worcester.Facing Worcester.
Facing Worcester.

The current Barnsley assistant manager re-instated Colley to the bench for his first game at FC United of Manchester, and brought him on in each of his first four games before using his bench place to seat Karl Hawley in early January.

Colley's last action would be to replace Smith after his horror injury at Gainsborough and, despite the Pilgrims already being a target man forward down, Murray let the Gambian leave by mutual consent in mid-January.

He had 14 appearances and just the one competitive goal to his credit.

Colley re-joined Farsley Celtic for the remainder of 2016-17, before joining Stalybridge Celtic and Tadcaster Albion. Craig Elliott had taken him in on trail during 2018’s pre-season period, but turned him away after game time against Chesterfield.

Under close scrutiny against Peterborough.Under close scrutiny against Peterborough.
Under close scrutiny against Peterborough.

Colley’s career took an unexpected turn in 2019, leaving Tadcaster with four goals to his name and joining RAAL La Louviere in Belgium’s semi-professional third tier - their website explaining (in French): “He came early in December to spend a week with us… he convinced everyone.”

Having opened his account against Rus Rebecq, Colley left six months after joining the Wolves and soon signed for ND Gorica in Slovenia.

Traditionally one of the country’s most successful clubs, Gorica find themselves in the 2.Liga.

Their new number 17 scored twice on debut and ended the season with 11 goals in 18 games, his campaign cut short by a knee injury picked up in training in January.

He was still with the club - based on Slovenia’s western border with Italy - when football ground to a halt in March.

Colley’s time at Boston United may have been relatively without impact, but the forward appears to have matured into a fine finisher, and recently enjoyed his strongest season in the Slovenian second division.

Colley returned for an unsuccessful trial under Craig Elliott.Colley returned for an unsuccessful trial under Craig Elliott.
Colley returned for an unsuccessful trial under Craig Elliott.

While Pilgrims fans perhaps remember him best for the penalty miss against Stalybridge and Stockport fans’ lasting memory is a red card he received for punching Worcester’s Alex Gudger in a 0-0 draw back in 2015

In Gorica he has made himself a useful asset.