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Maidstone's ambition persuaded Andy Ford to become manager

Steve Butler and Andy Ford
Steve Butler and Andy Ford

New Maidstone manager Andy Ford, right, with assistant boss Steve Butler

By Matthew Panting

The dream of managing Maidstone when they return to the County Town was the key factor in Andy Ford becoming the club’s new manager.

Ford was appointed Stones boss on Tuesday, less than 24 hours after the club sacked Peter Nott following a woeful start to the season.

"I can see them coming home now," said Ford. "I couldn’t before.

"That’s what’s been sold to me. It’s in the pipeline and could happen within 24 months.

"It would be fantastic if it happens and I want to progress as well - this is not the division I’m used to managing in, I’m used to the Conference."

Ford, who has lived in Maidstone for 30 years, knows all about the potential of the club and is hoping to be part of the planned move to Whatman Way.

"It could be like another Dartford," he said. "If we got back to Maidstone, then we could have 800 people every week on a regular basis if we are successful - that’s the aim."

Ford resigned as Welling manager a year ago, citing the budget as one of the reasons behind his departure.

But he admitted that times have changed financially and he is well aware of the current restraints at Maidstone.

"The money is tight, the debts have been paid but there’s not lots of money in the budget," said Ford. "I’ve never had a big budget wherever I’ve been."

Is Andy Ford the right man to take charge? Have your say below.

See Friday's Kent Messenger newspaper for full interview with new chief executive Bill Williams

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