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Maidstone United head coach Hakan Hayrettin says recruitment has been shocking after relegation confirmed

By Craig Tucker

Hakan Hayrettin branded Maidstone’s recruitment ‘shocking’ after they were relegated from the National League.

The drop was confirmed after yesterday’s 2-0 defeat by Salford, with United on their way down after three seasons in non-league’s top flight.

Hayrettin and John Still succeeded Harry Wheeler in January but couldn’t halt the slide back to National South.

Scroll down to hear Maidstone manager's comments

Maidstone United head coach Hakan Hayrettin Picture: Sean Aidan
Maidstone United head coach Hakan Hayrettin Picture: Sean Aidan

The Stones head coach said he and Still ‘have to have a look at ourselves’ but in reality the damage was already done.

With relegation settled, the pair can set about building a new squad in their mould - one that will challenge for an immediate return.

Hayrettin said: “It’s all about recruitment. Recruitment is the key. I’ve said that from day one.

“I could be a good politician but sometimes I’m too straight.

“The recruitment here has been shocking, in my opinion. The mix has never been right.

“I accumulated 33 players in and out the door in three months before we came, which is unbelievable for a club at this level.

“Thirty-three players to come in and out in three months? Wow.

“You’ve got to be Real Madrid to sustain that, haven’t you?

“That kind of budget, that kind of money.

“I’ve never known anything like it but there you go.

“Everyone has different ideas and different philosophies and different ways of doing things and, listen, I keep saying this, this is a fantastic football club with great support and it’s time we start planning now for next season and doing it right.

“You can never, ever say anything about any other manager or any other coach but it’s all about recruitment, knowing the players at the level you’re at.

Action from Maidstone's 2-0 defeat by Salford as Justin Amaluzor, a key man for next season, gets stuck in Picture: Sean Aidan
Action from Maidstone's 2-0 defeat by Salford as Justin Amaluzor, a key man for next season, gets stuck in Picture: Sean Aidan

“Take nothing away from the previous managers, they were in a difficult position.

“This is a big club, for the level, it’s a big club with big support and the expectation that goes with it is quite high, so you’ve got to be 100% sure when you make signings, that it’s the right ones.

“You’ve had 70-odd players that have come and gone, 68 players in the season, it’s a lot of players.

“I’m sure you can pick 20 out of them that would have done a job.

“Listen, don’t forget our record here isn’t great either.

“Everyone’s got a different way of doing things and different ideas and different philosophies.

“We weren’t getting beaten easily but we weren’t winning games either.

“We also have to have a look at ourselves but it’s all about recruitment.

“For me, that’s what it’s about and getting players to understand what’s required.

“It’s a great club and when the team wins it’s not just the players on the pitch that win, everyone wins, and when we lose, everyone loses.

Josh Taylor gets at the Salford defence during Saturday's game at the Gallagher Picture: Sean Aidan
Josh Taylor gets at the Salford defence during Saturday's game at the Gallagher Picture: Sean Aidan

“Unfortunately, when you lose it’s not a nice place to be.

“These players don’t want to lose every week.

“Let’s have it right, they come in and work hard and try and give it their best but the mix of players just has not been right. That’s all it is.

“You can have so many of one and not enough of the other. That’s what I think the problem’s been.”

Still, Hayrettin and their team of scouts have been out watching games for a couple of months with next season in mind.

The Stones will be one of the biggest clubs in National South but that doesn’t mean it will be easy recruiting players.

Hayrettin said: “Players are mercenaries, you’ve got to remember that.

“Nine times out of 10 they’ll sell you for a fiver down the road, that’s what they do.

“Occasionally you may get one or two who want to come and play for a club like this and take the fiver less.”

Read the match report from Maidstone's 2-0 defeat by Salford

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