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Maidstone United sign George Porter from Dagenham after a helping hand from Luke Rooney

By Craig Tucker
Luke Rooney engineered George Porter's move to Maidstone Picture: Martin Apps
Luke Rooney engineered George Porter's move to Maidstone Picture: Martin Apps

Winger George Porter has joined Maidstone following his release by Dagenham - and it's all thanks to Luke Rooney.

Rooney, who had a brief spell with Stones after leaving Swindon last season, told the 22-year-old United were the club to kickstart his career.

Ex-Gills man Rooney rediscovered his appetite for the game at Maidstone, quickly earning a move to Luton Town, and had no hesitation in recommending the club.

Porter left Dagenham last week after 23 appearances in League 2 this season.

United boss Jay Saunders said: "Luke's been a massive influence on the move.

"He told George what a great club it was - and we did look after Luke.

"We got him enjoying his football and he said it was the first time in three years he was looking forward to playing.

"It says a lot about how we look after players that we get recommendations like that.

"Luke contacted me on Sunday and said George was leaving Dagenham and would we be interested?

"He came down on Monday night and within half an hour we had a new player.

"He's a good one to have on board. He's not lost his way but he's similar to Luke in that he needs to get back playing and enjoying his football. We can help him with that.

"But it's not one where he's looking to play five games and move on - I think he's looking more long-term.

"I'd been after a wide lad. George is quick, direct and can play either side, as well as up top.

"He's played league football for most of his short career but also knows non-league from Cray. It was a no-brainer getting him.

"He's here for the rest of the season, then we'll see.

"If we can get him back to playing like he can, he'll do very well for us."

Porter is set to make his debut when Stones host Charlton in the Kent Senior Cup quarter-finals tonight (Tuesday, 7.45pm).

He started his career at Cray before moves to Leyton Orient and Burnley.

He had loan spells at Colchester and AFC Wimbledon, followed by a short-term deal at Rochdale.

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