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Maidstone United head coach Hakan Hayrettin says the club 'will go to war every game for our supporters' during their 2020/21 National League South season

By Joe Harbert

Head coach Hakan Hayrettin says Maidstone United "will go to war every game for our supporters" next season in a bid to make the jump back into the National League.

The Stones, who enjoyed a solid if unspectacular campaign last term with a ninth-placed finish on their return to National League South, have been one of the quieter sides in the league so far this summer.

Maidstone United head coach Hakan Hayrettin. Picture: Matthew Walker
Maidstone United head coach Hakan Hayrettin. Picture: Matthew Walker

Just two new additions in the form of striker Scott Rendell and defender Joe Ellul have arrived at the Gallagher Stadium ahead of their 2020/21 campaign, albeit from Eastleigh and Maidenhead respectively.

But Hayrettin admits new arrivals are just around the corner for the team.

And despite a period of instability for all sides due to the coronavirus crisis, 50-year-old Hayrettin believes the division will continue to get stronger once football resumes, and he believes his team will be more than a match for any side.

He said: "We're still looking at a few positions, but the most important thing for me is that, as soon as a player walks through the door, they have to have a winning mentality, attitude and personality that sends a message and does everyone at the club proud.

"That's something me and my staff will impose even more so - that everyone knows what's required to get the job done.

"If we can ruffle a few feathers, and if I can instil a side with character that knows winning is the most important thing, then that's what I'm going to try and do.

"So I can't wait for the season to start because we want to be in that pack at the end - to win you need to be at the front of the marathon towards the end of the season, and our aim again is to get in the play-offs and test ourselves to the best of our ability.

"Personally, I think the league will be stronger now with the influx of players available but that doesn't faze me or the club because we're going to go to war every game for our supporters."

The former Braintree man is preparing for his first full season in charge of the Stones after the club's head of football John Still stepped away from football at the end of last season.

Hayrettin added: "Ultimately, we have to ensure everything fits, and for me especially, recruitment is the most important thing, and we are trying to recruit the right player for our club so the supporters get what they deserve.

"I worked with Scott at Luton and he's a true professional, and somebody who has scored loads of goals at Woking and then done well at Aldershot.

"He knows how to look after himself as well and I think he's going to be a big plus for younger people at the club.

"Then in Joe, I've signed someone who is a no-nonsense centre-back who played nearly every game for Maidenhead last season.

"So we've made two signings from the league above who will be important to us and who will definitely wear the badge with passion and pride.

"It means we've got 11 players in total at the moment, and hopefully by this time next week, we'll have a few more.

"But we're making sure we pick wisely by having players that are hard-working, that have flare and will roll their sleeves up when they need to.

"I'm speaking to a few that were here last season but I also have to bring in the player who is the best value for money, especially with everything that's happened with the pandemic.

"So I may look at the academy more as well."

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