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Maidstone United defender Will De Havilland making the most of Steve Watt's experience

Will De Havilland is enjoying the chance to work with new Maidstone assistant boss Steve Watt.

Summer signing De Havilland is very much in Watt’s mould as a big, no-nonsense centre-half, so they were always likely to hit it off.

He said: “It’s been really good having him here. I know he’s very experienced having played for Chelsea.

Maidstone United defender Will De Havilland Picture: Andy Jones
Maidstone United defender Will De Havilland Picture: Andy Jones

“Before I came, there was a former coach I had at Millwall who said he knew him and that he would be a great help for me. And he has been so far.

“It’s just general positioning with the whole back four, more than individually.

“We’ve been working on the whole back four and our shape. It’s been good.”

De Havilland, 23, played 10 games on loan for the Stones from Wycombe last season.

He missed the last two games after the Chairboys - closing in on promotion to League 1 - recalled him as cover.

With his contract running down at Adams Park, he’d seen enough at Maidstone to convince him to sign a two-year deal with Jay Saunders.

De Havilland said: “I had a few options but I enjoyed my time here last year.

“Even though we were down the bottom it was still enjoyable and we managed to get out of trouble in the end.

“I wanted to come back and see the lads again and the gaffer.

Steve Watt with Maidstone manager Jay Saunders Picture: Sean Aidan
Steve Watt with Maidstone manager Jay Saunders Picture: Sean Aidan

“I think there were two games left when Wycombe recalled me. I was quite gutted to get recalled because I didn’t get a game when I went back.

“I kept an eye on things here. I knew they needed one win to stay up and they got it at Chester.”

Maidstone have one of the youngest squads in the National League and are among the favourites for relegation but that doesn’t worry De Havilland.

He said: “The squad’s coming together. We’ve got a lot of good players.

“I’ve seen we’re right down there in the bookies’ odds, so there’s no expectation on us, but we’ve got a decent team and I think we could surprise a few people and make the top half at least.

“We’ve got a very young team.

“Most of our players are under 25 so that can be a disadvantage in terms of experience but it’s going to be advantageous with the legs we’re going to have.

“We’re going to be able to out-run teams and that should prove a big asset.”

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