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Maidstone United sign striker Manny Duku from Gibraltan club Manchester 62 in time to face Ipswich Town in FA Cup fourth round

Striker Manny Duku wants to create the story of the FA Cup fourth round after joining Maidstone.

Duku, a summer target who moved to Gibraltar instead, has arrived at the Gallagher at the perfect time.

Manny Duku made his Maidstone debut against Braintree on Tuesday night. Picture: Helen Cooper
Manny Duku made his Maidstone debut against Braintree on Tuesday night. Picture: Helen Cooper

With United depleted in attack, the 31-year-old has every chance of starting at Portman Road on Saturday.

The club have worked round the clock to secure clearance and the Dutchman finally completed his move from Manchester 62, making his debut as a second-half substitute against Braintree last night.

He has Championship high-fliers Ipswich in his sights this weekend.

“What a story it would be,” said Duku, who played against Maidstone last season for York City.

“You sign on Tuesday, play Saturday and you win the game and it’s all over the news, and hopefully you get a goal as a striker.

“Imagine winning 1-0 and I get the goal - that would be incredible but it wouldn't matter who scored.

“It would be amazing to get a result there.

“We will try our best and I know the boys are fired up, as they have been in the previous rounds to get to this stage, so there’s no fear.

“It’s great for the club and it’s amazing for me personally to get an opportunity like this and hopefully I can do my bit.

“I’ve played in a few big games but this one, being the FA Cup, and the smaller club and against the bigger club, this would definitely be the biggest.”

Maidstone have been scouring the market for a striker since 20-goal top scorer Levi Amantchi left for Bromley before Christmas.

Timmy Abraham and Mo Faal have arrived but, like early-season signing Matt Rush, are cup-tied.

And United’s need increased with Sol Wanjau-Smith sidelined through injury.

Duku was on manager George Elokobi’s radar but getting the deal done was far from straightforward.

His cameo against Braintree, a match which ended 1-1, blew away the cobwebs after getting the nod to play.

“My last game was at the beginning of December so I haven’t played for a couple of months,” said Duku, whose contract with Manchester 62 has been terminated.

“I had an OK time in Gibraltar but there was some stuff going on behind the scenes and that’s what made me leave as well.

“We were waiting to get clearance and the longer it took I was thinking I might not even be there on Saturday.

“We’ve been trying to sort stuff with the FA, so I’m happy we got everything over the line and I’ve been able to get some game time.

“If that was my first game on Saturday you don’t know how your body will react and the sharpness and everything will not be there.

“We spoke about the FA Cup and the position of the club before I signed.

“I explained my situation to the manager and we put our ideas together.

“He really wanted me to be there for the club and obviously for the game on Saturday as well.

“There aren’t many players out there right now who you can get to play in the FA Cup but fortunately I was one of them, so it was a good opportunity to get game time and be here at a great club like this.

“The manager has put his trust in me and hopefully we can make another form of history on Saturday.”

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