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FA Cup: Maidstone United midfielder Jack Paxman feels Jay Saunders should be in the Macclesfield dugout

By Craig Tucker

Jack Paxman feels former Maidstone boss Jay Saunders should have taken the Macclesfield job last summer.

The sides meet in the FA Cup first round at the Gallagher Stadium on Saturday and it could easily be Saunders in the away dugout.

He rejected an offer from the League 2 club in June, only to leave Maidstone by mutual consent a couple of months later.

Jack Paxman with former Maidstone boss Jay Saunders Picture: Andy Jones
Jack Paxman with former Maidstone boss Jay Saunders Picture: Andy Jones

Paxman wishes his old boss had taken his big chance to work in the Football League.

He said: “It was a strange time. Jay had a lot of success with Maidstone on a smaller budget.

“I think Macclesfield noticed that and probably realised what he’s capable of and they thought he was going to be a good option for them.

“Looking back, I don’t want to put words in Jay’s mouth, but he probably thinks he should have taken it because of the way things worked out.

“But unfortunately that is the way football goes and people have a limited time to make a decision.

“He made a decision he thought was right for him and his family and that’s the way it’s gone.

“It was a big club, a big opportunity and he probably should have taken it.

“It was a strange time for me as well because my contract was up and we were negotiating.

“A lot people thought my time was done, as much as I did, but it worked out that I’ve stayed, a new gaffer’s come in and I’m really enjoying it.”

Maidstone midfielder Jack Paxman is in fine form Picture: Steve Terrell
Maidstone midfielder Jack Paxman is in fine form Picture: Steve Terrell

Paxman is Maidstone’s longest-serving player following Lee Worgan’s departure last week.

He’s approaching four years at the club and believes he’s playing the best football of his career under Harry Wheeler.

Paxman said: “I think there have been other stages where I’ve done all right but probably not to this level.

“I’d say this is the best stage of my Maidstone career so far.

“I’d never bad-mouth Jay, because we had a good relationship, but Harry’s just put that belief in me.

“He’s given me the consistent game time and the more I play the more consistent I’m going to become.

“He spends extra time with me after training and says, ‘look, I think this is going to benefit you tomorrow’ and I’ve also been playing in a different position.

“The majority of the time under Harry I’ve played from a wide position, which I’m more than happy to do, and I think I’ve been quite good at it as well.

“He knows what I can offer and he’s allowed me to do that.”

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