Published: 00:00, 31 May 2019
| Updated: 06:32, 31 May 2019
Goalkeeper Jake Cole hailed the impact of Hakan Hayrettin as the key to him signing for Maidstone United.
Cole was out of contract at Aldershot when Hayrettin contacted then-Shots boss Gary Waddock about the 33-year-old.
Talks with Cole followed and the former Woking man liked what he heard.
Cole said: “I had a meeting quite early with Maidstone which was great. Since then Hakan spoke to me a few times and we managed to get it done which I was really pleased about.
“Knowing that the manager wants you is important – and it’s a fresh start as well for me.
“It all sounds positive for next season, having a real challenge and who he’s trying to get in.
"I’m looking forward to the team getting together and having a right go.
“Hakan and John Still are experienced so you know you’re joining two people who are well-respected.”
Cole played for Aldershot against Maidstone on the final day of the season with both clubs already relegated from the National League. But he’s confident a new squad of players can bring the feelgood factor back.
“I like the way the club’s set up,” he said. “It’s a club that could do well and grow.
“I know it was a poor season last season but if we can get things moving this year and the new boys have a positive impact, working with John and Hakan, I think it should be a positive season.
“John Still’s been about for years and Hakan’s worked with him at various clubs.
“Hakan got in contact with me early, let me know what he wanted and that made me want to go there because when someone wants you...
"He let that be known and that made my choice quite easy.”
Cole spent five years in League 2 with Barnet and Plymouth, helping keep both clubs in the Football League before joining Woking in 2014.
He almost reached the play-offs with the Cards and did get there twice with Aldershot but promotion is the one thing still missing from his CV.
“That would be lovely,” he said. “That’s the aim and that’s why I wanted to join Maidstone.
“With what they have planned and who they want to get in, I feel like the team should push and have a positive season so it should be a good place to be next year.”
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More by this authorSteve Tervet