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Maidstone United defender Will De Havilland has a relegation release clause in his contract

By Craig Tucker

Maidstone defender Will De Havilland must decide whether to exercise a relegation release clause in his contract.

De Havilland signed a two-year deal after his release by Wycombe last summer, with an option to leave in the event of going down.

The popular centre-half has given everything for Maidstone this season but needs to have a good think about his future.

Will De Havilland was made captain by caretaker bosses Tristan Lewis and Simon Walton while Blair Turgott recovered from injury Picture: Andy Jones
Will De Havilland was made captain by caretaker bosses Tristan Lewis and Simon Walton while Blair Turgott recovered from injury Picture: Andy Jones

De Havilland, 24, said: “I’m not too sure what’s going to happen yet.

“I travel a fair distance at the moment so it’s going to be hard, especially travelling that distance for Conference South, but I do love the club, the fans have made me really welcome, even when I was on loan last year.

“It’ll be a shame if I do go but we’ll have to wait and see.

“I’ve got to put my career first and see what comes up.

“Going down to Conference South it will be hard, especially travelling the distance I do.”

De Havilland puts Maidstone’s struggles down to all the changes at the Gallagher.

Five managers, including two caretakers, plus players coming and going like there’s no tomorrow have proved a recipe for National League relegation.

Will De Havilland wins this aerial battle against Havant Picture: Sean Aidan
Will De Havilland wins this aerial battle against Havant Picture: Sean Aidan

The former Millwall and Sheffield Wednesday man started the campaign with high hopes but the club were looking for a new manager by the end of August following Jay Saunders’ exit.

De Havilland said: “Personally, I think the amount of changes, player-wise and staff-wise as well, probably explain why we are where we are.

“We’ve had over 50 players this season and quite a few management changes as well.

“The teams at the top, like Salford, they probably rotate between 15 and 20 players, so they keep the same XI most weeks and get a bit of consistency.

“You can’t get consistency and build a rapport with your players when you’ve had the changes we have.

“Playing the same XI each week, everyone knows what each other is doing and we haven’t been able to have that.

“Going into the start of the season I was positive.

Will De Havilland has always put his head in where it hurts for Maidstone Picture: Andy Jones
Will De Havilland has always put his head in where it hurts for Maidstone Picture: Andy Jones

“It was that double header over the bank holiday weekend when we should have beaten Maidenhead and ended up losing and we should have beaten Boreham Wood and ended up losing that changed everything.

“If we held on in those two games everything could have been different.

“I’d imagine Jay would still have been in charge at that point and it sort of went downhill from there really.

“We’ve just got to keep working hard and try and go down with a bit of pride.”

Second-half goals from Justin Amaluzor and Rob Swaine saw Maidstone come from behind to beat Barnet 2-1 on Tuesday night.

That lifted them off the foot of the table and they visit Chesterfield on Saturday.

Read more: The latest sports news from across Kent

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