Nottingham Forest v Ipswich Town: Former team-mate not surprised by rapid rise of Britt Assombalonga

PUBLISHED: 09:42 03 October 2014 | UPDATED: 09:42 03 October 2014

Britt Assombalonga, far right, in action for Braintree Town in 2012

Britt Assombalonga, far right, in action for Braintree Town in 2012

Former Braintree Town defender Adam Bailey-Dennis is not surprised by the rapid rise of ex-team-mate Britt Assombalonga, ahead of the Nottingham Forest striker's Sunday showdown with Ipswich Town, at the City Ground.

Fifth-placed Town are aiming to stretch their unbeaten Championship run to seven games but will have to stop the Championship’s top scorer, whose eight goals in 10 games have helped fire the Reds into the automatic promotion places.

The 21-year-old hit five goals in five games for Conference Premier outfit Braintree in 2012, having joined on loan from Watford, before going on loan to League Two Southend, where he netted 15 goals in 43 matches.

That saw him move permanently to Peterborough, where he scored 23 goals last season, before Forest paid an initial £5.5m for the youngster in the summer.

Bromley’s Bailey-Dennis, who also had a spell at Bury Town said: “He always had great ability and a lot of people forget how young he still is.

“He is quick, strong, can finish and is good in the air. His decision-making is great and he knows when to spin out with the ball and when to turn and hit it.

The striker also had a spell at non-league Wealdstone, and Bailey-Dennis added: “He gained experience in men’s football which is so important.

“We have the under-21 leagues over here, but how many under-21 managers do you see getting sacked after a defeat? It’s not the same.

“Playing real football, when points are at stake, is great for a young lad.

“I am not surprised at his progress, he had everything, but it is a bit of a shock when you see someone who you played with in the Conference two years ago now playing for one of the favourites to get to the Premier League.”

“A lot of players have progressed through non-league, and it gives you hope.”

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