Published: 08:06, 17 April 2014 |
Updated: 08:25, 17 April 2014
Stephen Butcher has revealed he is leaving Gillingham in the summer – opening the door for a permanent deal at Maidstone.
Butcher is on loan at the Gallagher Stadium until the end of the season but has already been told he won’t be offered a new contract at Gills.
The loan switch to Stones has helped him get over the disappointment and while he wants to get back in the Football League one day, Butcher, 19, is interested in extending his stay at United.
He said: “I’ve been at Gills nine or 10 years and was gutted when I was told I wouldn’t be getting a new contract but so many people have said it’s just a minor blip in my career and to keep working hard.
“It could be a good thing coming out of a bad thing because it’s given me a kick up the backside.
“I had a few calls about going out on loan but decided Maidstone would be the best move because the crowds are good and it’s a professional set-up. It’s good to be playing men’s football.
“It’s a lot more physical than development football at Gillingham. It toughens you up and shows you the dirty side of the game.
“I’d like to get back in the league but as long as I’m enjoying my football, I can play anywhere.
“I enjoy it at Maidstone so there’s no reason why I couldn’t stay – if they want me.”
Butcher, who also had a loan spell with Ramsgate this season, played mainly as a right-back at Gills but Stones boss Jay Saunders has made the most of his versatility by using him in central midfield.
Read the full story in this week's Kent Messenger - out now!
Don't miss out, subscribe today. Keep up to date with our newsletters.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating! PLUS, register for free!.
Find out what's going on in the garden, with Kent expert Lucy Hewett's weekly update.
Buy pictures that you've seen in a KM newspaper, or send in a picture and we will place it on our photo sales website so that you can purchase a super, unique gift.