Published: 07:30, 10 February 2020
| Updated: 07:32, 10 February 2020
Maidstone have agreed a contract with Zihni Temelci after an impressive couple of months at the Gallagher.
The 20-year-old has produced a string of fine performances in midfield since effectively joining on trial at the end of November.
There’s paperwork to complete after moving to the UK from Cyprus but that’s virtually done and then the deal can be signed.
Head of football John Still said: “We’re really pleased with Zihni. We’ve agreed a contract with him.
“The club are dealing with the logistics of it but that’s near-enough done.
“He’s played the last couple of games with a little bit of a knock and we were touch and go whether to bring Sam Corne back in against Braintree but he’s got on with it.
“We’ve got a friendly on Tuesday so we can give Sam 90 minutes in that and make sure he’s properly ready because we don’t want him to break down again.”
Temelci made his debut as a second-half substitute in the Stones’ FA Cup second-round defeat at Blackpool in December and has been ever-present since.
His fitness has held up well given he hadn’t played a competitive game for months before joining Maidstone, during which a move to League 2 Crawley fell through.
He’s recently reverted to his favoured role in central defence after playing most of his football at the Gallagher as a holding midfielder.
Still said: “We’re talking with Ross. We’ve not reached any decisions yet but we are talking to him and from that point of view, we hope to agree something.
“A lot of these boys, like Ross and Zihni, they’re not old, they’re young boys who are still learning.
“They’re not learning in front of 300 people, they’re learning in front of 2,000 people.
“That adds a little bit of a pressure but that’s good because how they handle that can dictate which way their career goes.”
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More by this authorCraig Tucker