Anthony Acheampong wants the Maidstone supporters he loves to be realistic next season.
United have released Acheampong after a year at the Gallagher but he cares about the club and says staying up again would be a success.
Jay Saunders’ side finished 14th in their debut campaign in the National League, losing only two of their last 15 matches.
It’s got people talking about a top-half push next season - or maybe even better - but defender Acheampong has called for calm.
He said: “Maidstone have all the makings to be a Football League team.
“The club have excelled and the fans expect it.
“But if Maidstone stay in the division again next season, I’m sure that will go down as a successful year.
“I don’t want the club to get carried away. Another survival would be good and then maybe build from there.
“It’s nice to have those ambitions but you need to be realistic in football.
“The Conference is one of the hardest leagues to get out of and I don’t want the fans - because I still feel a connection with them - to get ahead of themselves.
“Just get behind Jay and the team and be happy.”
Acheampong made a flying start to his Maidstone career after joining from Ebbsfleet, scoring in the win at Chester and forming an excellent partnership with Kevin Lokko.
But hamstring problems hit his flow and as United’s form slumped, he lost his place.
He found himself out of the squad altogether but would always be at games cheering on his team-mates.
Acheampong, who is weighing up his next move, said: “The injury stifled me because I lost my rhythm and I’m one of those who needs to play.
“Injury prohibited me from playing but I can’t just blame it on that because the team were conceding a lot of goals and I lost my place.
“Any club I’m involved with will get 100% of me.
“If I’m not playing I’ll still be watching and wishing the boys well because they reflect me and I reflect them.
“It is hard watching when you want to be playing but it’s easier when the team’s winning.
“The team picked up results, the lads were happy, the fans were happy, so I was happy.
“Jay made it a lot easier for me to deal with because he constantly talked to me and supported me as well.
“He always made me feel part of things. He handled it brilliantly.
“When he let me go we met up, spoke as men and he dropped the news to me.
“There’s a lot of mutual respect. We shook hands and went our separate ways but I’m sure we’ll stay in touch.
“I loved the club and the fans. I had a great time - everyone’s been brilliant to me.”