Published: 16:55, 23 December 2015
Maidstone United have signed defender Callum Davies from Gillingham on a free transfer.
The centre-half has signed an 18-month deal at the Gallagher Stadium and will be available for Stones' trip to Margate on Boxing Day.
United boss Jay Saunders has been chasing the 22-year-old for weeks, initially making loan enquiries before Gills agreed to terminate his contract.
Saunders said: "First and foremost he's a good player.
“Obviously he's been stop-start with them over the last year or so.
“He's been at Gills a long time, brings good experience and can play in a number of positions.
“After Steve Watt left I didn't want to just bring anyone in.
“We made Callum our No.1 target and luckily enough he's wanted to come here.
“We've not had to convince him, it's one of them where I spoke to him and he was very keen to get it done.
“We're delighted. To make it permanent is a good deal for us.”
Davies joined Gills aged seven and won a League 2 title medal under Martin Allen in 2013.
Injuries restricted his progress under Justin Edinburgh and this season he had brief loan spells at Bromley and Eastleigh.
He wasn’t surprised when Edinburgh said he could leave Priestfield.
Davies said: "I first got approached about the loan, then I spoke to the manager and he said about terminating my contract and making it a permanent deal with Maidstone.
"Obviously then you've got to sort out the settlement and it's a long-winded process. I'm happy to get it sorted.
"I've had a great time at Gillingham, I've been there a lot of years and I really respect the staff down there, they've done a lot for me.
"But I just want a fresh start, a run of games and I want to play football.
“I feel this is a positive step, as opposed to a backward step.
"I was pretty set on coming here. I've played under Nicky Southall (Stones assistant) and I know a few of the players.
“I just felt like this was the right place for me to come. I've gone with my heart and my gut feeling."
Gills boss Edinburgh said: "It’s been difficult for Callum. When I came to the club he was overcoming an injury.
“He got himself in the position to get back for pre-season and worked tirelessly hard but still wasn’t quite at the level to get in and around the team.
“I think it's a good move. He's an honest boy, he knows since he got injured we've gone forward as a club and that's no disrespect to him.
“He hasn't played senior competitive football for over a year now and he needs to play."