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Jay Saunders says Margate no longer pay silly money

By Craig Tucker

Jay Saunders says the days of Margate paying silly money are over.

Saunders has stressed the need for patience in the transfer market as Gate target a centre-half and a striker.

They’re tricky positions to fill and there’s the added hurdle of the club's reputation for paying inflated wages going before them.

Margate manager Jay Saunders (12581400)
Margate manager Jay Saunders (12581400)

That’s no longer the case following a budget cut.

Margate boss Saunders said: “We’re close to a right-back and our main priority now is a centre-half and a centre-forward but we have to be patient.

“A lot of players want to play as high as they can, so they go on trial.

“For us as well, Margate have had a reputation for a while, since the Bob Laslett days, of paying silly money for players.

“That’s not the case this year, so it’s taking longer to get business done.

“You speak to certain players and they expect a ridiculous offer but we’re being more sensible this year.”

Saunders is happy with Margate’s progress, having so far signed keeper Jon Miles, defender Jay Porter, midfielder Connor Wilkins, widemen Adem Ramadan and Jack Richards and striker Noel Leighton.

Porter arrived from Enfield as Tom Mills’ replacement at left-back while Saunders knows all about Richards after working with him for years at Maidstone.

The Gate manager said: “It’s pretty much a complete rebuild bar Ben Swift, Jordy Robins and Connor Dymond.

“I’d like to add a little bit of experience if we can but I’m pleased with where we’re at and the players we’ve signed have all been keen to come, which is nice.

Jack Richards celebrates scoring for Maidstone Picture: Andy Jones
Jack Richards celebrates scoring for Maidstone Picture: Andy Jones

“Jack’s obviously someone I’ve known for a long time.

“I gave him his debut as a 16-year-old at Maidstone and straight away it was, ‘I want to come and play games’.

“He could have signed a new deal at Maidstone and he had other offers in Conference South but he wants to get games under his belt and he’s chosen to come here.

“He’s got all the ability in the world but I think he looks at other players his age who’ve gone and got 30 or 40 games under their belt and he hasn’t done that.

“Sometimes you have to take a step back to kick on again and the only way you improve is by playing.

“It’s a case of nailing down a position in pre-season but I know he can create and score goals because he’s always done it.

“With Jay Porter, he’s a natural left-sided player and whenever I’ve seen him over the years he’s always impressed me.

“I’m actually surprised he’s not kicked on a lot higher.

“We needed a replacement for Millsy and when the opportunity came up to get him in, it was a no-brainer.

“He’s still a good age and he’s a very good defender.”

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