Defender Jack Parkinson joins Maidstone United from Woking
Maidstone academy coach Jack Parkinson has signed for the club as a player. Picture: Steve Terrell
Defender Jack Parkinson has dropped two divisions and taken a pay cut to join Maidstone – after a tongue-in-cheek offer from Jay Saunders.
United boss Saunders thought he had little chance of signing the centre-half, who had been a near ever-present in the Skrill Premier with Woking this season.
But when Parkinson, who is the head coach at Maidstone’s academy, rejected a new deal at Woking, Saunders beat off competition from Dover and Dartford to land his man for an undisclosed fee.
The Stones boss said: “I dropped it into conversation with Jack a few weeks ago that if things didn’t work out at Woking, then he knew where we were.
“It was tongue-in-cheek and I didn’t think any more of it but then last week Jack asked if I meant what I said.
“You like to think you’ve got half a chance of signing any decent player but Jack has been a regular in the Conference for two seasons and he’s only 24.
“Dartford and Dover were interested, along with a few other clubs but Jack weighed things up and he enjoys his work here with the academy, which was a great pulling point.
Parkinson revealed it was an easy decision to leave Woking for Maidstone.
He said: “I spoke to the boss at Woking a couple of weeks ago and he offered me a new deal but with my work at the academy and all the travelling, it’s difficult to commit.
“It’s dropping down a couple of leagues but Maidstone are a big club with a great fan base and good players, I see it as a good career move.
“It’s a case of looking at the bigger picture. People might say it’s showing a lack of ambition but I don’t see it that way. It was an easy decision.
“Hopefully, I can help Maidstone get into the league they should be in.”
- Click here for more Maidstone news
- Click here for more news from across the county