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Maidstone United will make an offer to on-loan Cambridge striker Joe Pigott

By Craig Tucker

Joe Pigott could put his Football League career on hold to stay with hometown club Maidstone.

Manager Jay Saunders will make a serious effort to keep the striker after meeting with club directors to discuss next season.

Pigott has scored six goals in 16 appearances since joining on loan from League 2 Cambridge, playing a big part in their National League survival.

Maidstone striker Joe Pigott Picture: Andy Jones
Maidstone striker Joe Pigott Picture: Andy Jones

The former Charlton man is out of contract at the Abbey Stadium this summer and Stones will try to clinch a permanent deal.

Saunders said: “I’ve had a good chat with Joe.

“I think Joe would be keen on staying. I’d love to keep him.

“He’s a young lad, 23, who’s got a lot to learn yet.

“To come from a pro club, like he has, it could have been quite easy for him just to go through the motions but he’s worked as hard as anyone.

“He’s getting better all the time and I’ve enjoyed working with him.

“I think he’s someone who’d like to stay but I’m sure there’ll be a lot of interest.

“Stuart Lewis is another one. I know they’ve got a lot of interest so it’s always difficult but we’re now in a position where I can have serious chats with them.

“We’ll try our hardest but football’s a funny old game. No doubt we’ll lose some we want to keep and we’ll get others we weren’t expecting to get.”

Joe Pigott opens his Maidstone account against Chester Picture: Andy Jones
Joe Pigott opens his Maidstone account against Chester Picture: Andy Jones

Saunders met with co-owners Terry Casey and Oliver Ash and chief executive Bill Williams on Tuesday morning.

They spoke about the switch to full-time football and budgets and players.

Further talks are planned but Saunders is free to push on with strengthening.

He said: “As always, we’ll get our lads sorted first and once we’ve done that, we’ll speak to others.

“We’ve got a lot of targets in mind. I want to improve.

“I think we need to improve a lot although we’ve done unbelievably well.

“It would be nice to keep some of the loan players but there’s still players I would like to get in.”

Maidstone, on a run of one defeat in 14 games, could finish as high as 10th if they beat Tranmere at home in the final match of the season on Saturday (12.15pm).

Their surge to safety and the switch to daytime training will only help in the transfer market.

Saunders said: “When you finish higher up in the league, you seem a more attractive proposition.

“There’s a couple of players I’m very keen to get done quite early and I know they’ve been here and watched and been impressed with the set-up.”

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