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Maidstone United manager Jay Saunders takes on full-time role at the Gallagher Stadium

Jay Saunders
Jay Saunders

Football management became a full-time occupation for Jay Saunders this week when the Maidstone boss joined the club’s academy coaching staff.

Saunders has been in charge of first-team affairs since March 2011 and now the Gallagher Stadium is his regular workplace too.

The 34-year-old will coach and train academy students and work with Maidstone’s two Football Conference Youth Alliance squads.

He said: “I’ve been speaking to the club for a while about working with the academy.

“I’m full-time now, working here every day. It’s good for me because I enjoy coaching the young lads and it helps that I get to see them regularly, plus they get used to me.”

The pathway from youth football to the senior set-up at Maidstone has already become clearer this season, with academy members Jack Sullivan and Charley Robertson having shone in the Stones first team.

Saunders said: “I invited six lads along to pre-season to train with us. If I hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t have known about Charley and Sully, who have been regulars all season.

“It’s good because I get to see if the players can deal with first-team football mentally.”

Saunders joins Jack Parkinson, Jim Bodle and Tom Parkinson on the academy coaching staff.

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