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Maidstone United manager Jay Saunders says Gillingham loanee Stephen Butcher could have permanent future at the Gallagher Stadium

By Craig Tucker
Stephen Butcher could make his Stones bow this weekend against Bury Picture: Barry Goodwin

Deadline day loan signing Stephen Butcher could be offered a permanent deal if he impresses at Maidstone.

Butcher, who plays in defence or midfield, is set to make his debut at Bury on Saturday after joining from Gillingham on Monday.

The 19-year-old looks likely to leave Priestfield in the summer and Stones boss Jay Saunders is considering a move for a player who made his Gills debut in a League 1 match against Colchester on the opening day of the season.

Saunders said: “It sounds like he won’t be offered a new deal at Gills, so it’s one of them where he has a good opportunity to try and impress and earn himself a contract.

“Hopefully that will be with us but he’s only 19 and has played in League 1, so it could be that he’ll have other options if he does well. I nearly took him on loan earlier in the season.

“He could have gone elsewhere this time but I spoke to Gills and he was keen to come here. He plays full-back but Gills feel he will end up at centre-half and he can also play in midfield.

“He’s a fit lad with loads of energy and he loves a tackle.”

Winger Alex Flisher starts a three-match ban at Bury, while central midfielder Michael Phillips and Alex Brown are also suspended.

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