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Folkestone Invicta boss Neil Cugley ready for return of former striker Stuart King

Stuart King returns to Folkestone for the first time on Saturday as a friend rather than foe, according to Invicta boss Neil Cugley.

King scored 44 goals in 47 games at Cheriton Road before joining Maidstone United in late November for an undisclosed four-figure fee. The deal which also included a sell-on clause on any future transfers, was good business for Folkestone, a club with troubled finances.

Stones moved days after Cugley admitted he was amazed the prolific striker had not been the subject of any interest from other clubs, making an offer which proved too good to turn down.

The 25-year-old, who has scored four goals in 11 games for his new club, is expected to play against Folkestone, despite missing Maidstone’s 3-1 win at Corinthian Casuals on Tuesday with a knee injury.

Cugley – himself just named manager-of-the-month for January – said: "Stuart and I have kept in touch. We speak regularly on the phone and he is a great lad who has become a good friend.

"It was the right time to sell him from the club’s point of view and he understood that 100%.

"We have no special plans for him tactically but know how he plays and what his strengths are."

The Invicta boss is full of praise for Maidstone’s achievements on and off the field, describing it as "massive boost" for non-league football in Kent.

He said: "It’s great they are back home and what they have done is brilliant."



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