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Former Maidstone United midfielder Michael Phillips comes out of retirement

Former Maidstone favourite Michael Phillips has come out of retirement and could face his old club.

Phillips quit in February after battling a knee injury but rejoined Ashford at pre-season training and is ready to give Isthmian League football another go.

United go to Ashford for a pre-season friendly tonight and Phillips, known to Stones fans as Iniesta, is guaranteed a big reception.

Michael Phillips has come out of retirement Picture: Martin Apps
Michael Phillips has come out of retirement Picture: Martin Apps

United boss Jay Saunders said: "He’s come out of retirement to get another ovation from our supporters!

"He’s a good lad and I’m pleased to see he’s back playing because he’s wasted in retirement.

"It'll be good to see him, Danny Lye, Shaun Welford and all our old boys down there.

"It's brilliant they got promoted and I'm delighted for them because they're all good lads."

Welford felt Phillips was wrong to retire, hailing him as a magical player.

He said: "I always knew it was too premature. He was playing with a knee injury last season and was getting frustrated.

"I think it was the frustration more than anything that made him hang up his boots because he knew what he was capable of – we all did – and his knee was stopping him hitting his full potential.

"He’s still got it and a fit Mickey Phillips is the first name on the teamsheet for any team in Ryman South (now Bostik South).

"He’s magical and he’s still got it. It’s all in his head. He’s a proper footballer, he’s still got that professional attitude.”

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