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Maidstone United manager Jay Saunders assembling a side primed for successive promotions

Graeme Andrews
Graeme Andrews

By Alex Hoad

Maidstone boss Jay Saunders says he is building a team with a view to winning back-to-back promotions.

Saunders has signed five new faces in the past week and is in the market for more as he plots an immediate return to the Ryman League, Premier Division after last season’s relegation.

The Maidstone manager said: "I want to build a team and keep it for more than one season. I want a side capable of going up and competing in the Premier Division straight away.

"It is important to be settled. You need to have a squad with the amount of games nowadays but you don’t want to be in the position where you’re going through 40 or 50 players a season.

"Hopefully if we’re able to go up then one or two additions and we’ll be ready to go again. Look at what Dover did, they came down, won Division 1 South, made a few additions and went straight up again."

Saunders has completed the signing of Barming-based Nick Reeves from landlords Sittingbourne, and will pair him in central defence with former Charlton youth and Dover player Graeme Andrews, 27, who joins from Welling.

Reeves and Andrews (pictured) follow hot on the heels of three new signings from higher division teams.

Saunders swooped to re-sign former team-mate and ex-Stones forward James Pinnock from Margate, and has also raided Hartsdown Park for Bearsted-based striker Alex Waugh, who scored nine goals in eight games on loan at Faversham last season.

Goalkeeper Charlie Mitten is the third new arrival, replacing Andy Walker,
who has stayed in the Premier Division by signing for Cray Wanderers.

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