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Maidstone United players make the decisions on away travel

By Craig Tucker

Jay Saunders has put big trust in his Maidstone squad during their superb away run.

United have won seven on the spin in league and cup, with Saunders allowing the players to make decisions on travel arrangements, be it train, coach or overnight stays.

They were offered the chance to stop over in Devon before facing Torquay on Saturday but opted to travel there and back on the day.

Maidstone United manager Jay Saunders Picture: Andy Jones
Maidstone United manager Jay Saunders Picture: Andy Jones

It proved the right call with United winning 1-0 after a six-hour coach trip.

Boss Saunders said: "I gave them a decision whether they wanted to do an overnighter or travel on the day.

"They wanted to do it in a day so we stuck with it and it's worked.

"I felt we looked a little bit leggy if I'm honest with you, it was a long trip up here, but it's a great record.

"I originally said we'd do an overnighter.

"I then spoke to some of the senior players, Magnus Okuonghae, Stuart Lewis, Lee Worgan, Reece Prestedge, people like that, and I said to them, 'what's the players' feelings?' and they said they would rather do the coach.

"They know their bodies, they know how they respond to things and obviously the one overnight we've done this year was Hartlepool and it's probably one of our worst performances."

Saunders certainly understands where the players are coming from.

He added: "I'm not a big fan of overnighters.

"As a player I never liked them because I never slept the same as I do at home.

"You come away and you have a three-course meal in the evening, which you wouldn't have at home.

"You're then up in the morning and you have a breakfast that you might not have at home but you have it because it's there.

"You then have a pre-match meal and it's just not what you normally do."

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