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News - February 2008

18th February 2008. 11.20am

Stones go into this weekend's derby with Tonbridge with the usual mixed bag of good and bad news.

Mo Takaloo returns to the squad from injury presenting managment duo Walker and Hume with a selection headache with 5 fit strikers to choose from. That also includes Jacob Erskine who despite suffering a nasty cut to his foot last week which required stitiches, he will be fit for the trip to Tonbridge. Chirs Smalling who is currently having a 6 week trial with Middlesborough also returns to the squad for Saturday. However, missing Saturday will be Sam Tydeman, James Peacock (1 match ban). There are also concerns over Nathan Paul and Lee Shearer who were unable to train this week due to illness although they both hope to recover in time for Saturday.

Speaking about Saturday's game Alan Walker said; "It's obviously a game we are very much looking forward to but at the same time it's a game we'll be treating no diferently to any other game. Their key player is obviously Carl Rook, a player we tried to sign last season, but sadly didn't want to drop a league. Tonbridge were then able to bring him in with the funds they received from the sale of John Main and he is certainly a player we'll need to keep close tabs on."

In other news, as mentioned earlier, Chris Smalling is currently on trial with Premiership side Middlesborough having impressed a number of clubs in his appearance for England. Smalling has just returned from a trial with Charlton and interest has also come from Reading and Gillingham. We'll aim to keep you posted on his progress over the coming weeks on what is obviously and exciting time for the talented defender.

Finally it's good luck to all the Maidstone United Supporters as they embark on this years Sponsored Walk in aid of the Ground Fund. This year the walk is from Maidstone to our local rivals Tonbridge where they will be rewarded with a welcome drink courtesy of the Chairman before the game. If you haven't already sponsored them, then they will be collecting money upon their arrival.

18th February 2008. 12.25pm

Paul Bowden-Brown and Oliver AshMaidstone United chairman Paul Bowden-Brown welcomed new director and shareholder Oliver Ash this lunchtime.

Ash is the managing director of French Company Richmond Developments, a private real estate asset management, development and investment company. They also offer stadium consultancy and sports marketing services.

The 49-year-old, who has dual British and French nationality, lives in Kent with his family. He set up Richmond eight years ago.

Bowden-Brown remains chairman and the major shareholder with a 75 per cent stake in the club. Richmond have purchased a 25 per cent share. Bowden-Brown’s son Richard is also a company director, alongside two associate directors – Maidstone United general manager Bill Williams and Richmond's legal advisor Patrick Hole.

Bowden-Brown said: “Since taking over the club 15 years ago there have been a number of notable achievements but to realise my ultimate goal, bringing football home to Maidstone, it was essential to attract additional investment.

“Oliver shares the vision we have for Maidstone United. To have someone of his expertise and professionalism on the board of directors will help us achieve our aims and see football return to Kent’s county town.”

Oliver Ash said: “I have become a supporter of the football club since meeting Paul Bowden-Brown last autumn. I admire, respect and back his project to build a new ground in Maidstone and create a true community club.

“I share the ambition to make the club successful on and off the field; and believe that my professional experience can contribute to the club achieving these objectives.”

Bowden-Brown announced that a funding application for the new stadium will be submitted to the Football Foundation by the end of April. He commented:“The application is very detailed and I’m extremely grateful to those who compiled it. We should hear eight to ten weeks after submission and the financial support from Richmond is an important part of the bid.”

Ash added:“We hope to obtain maximum grant funding for the new ground within the next few months and build it ready for use at the very latest for the 2009/2010 season.”

(Video footage from Stones TV)

 

15th February 2008. 12.35pm

The Stones were today able to secure another loan signing ahead of the home game against Hendon at the weekend, as they seek to bounce back from last weeks defeat.

19-year old Gillingham striker Andy Pugh joins us on an initial one month loan and Alan Walker had high hopes for the striker;" I've seen him play a few times and he's a similar prospect to Luis Cumbers although maybe not as quick, but has made around half a dozen appearances for the first team already."

Andy is on contract with Gillingham and this year has already had one successful loan spell with Welling. He comes straight into the squad for Saturday and Alan Walker wanted to stay focussed on the positives ahead of the game versus high-flyers Hendon; "Last weeks positives were both the strikers getting on the scoresheet and that will certainly give them more confidence going into Saturday's game. What I will be looking for though is for us to be a lot tighter at the back and a vastly improved performance from our back four."

Stones go into the game with yet more enforced changes. Striker Mo Takaloo is suspended this weekend, Chris Smalling is away on England Schoolboys duty and Sam Tydeman is unavailable due to a family wedding. Lynden Rowland remains doubtful, but Ben Lewis seems to a fully rcovered from last weekend and came through Thursday's training session without any problems.

You can follow the game live with goal flash updates on the official site, but if you are away from a PC and can't make the game, don't forget you can get the goals straight to your phone via our goalflash alerts SMS service, click here for details.

 

8th February 2008. 11.45am

The enforced midweek break has meant that Rob Owen is now available to travel to Staines this weekend after safely coming through Thursday evenings training session.

Sadly, Lynden Rowland still remains on the injury list although Alan Walker was hopeful that he would be fit for next Saturday. There remains doubts over Chris Smalling who is still suffering with and ankle injury and Mo Takaloo who turned his ankle during the week, although he should recover in time. Back in the squad however, will be Craig Roser.

Meanwhile the managements attempts to bolster the squad suffered another setback this week. Luis Cumbers had become available on loan from Gillingham however AFC Wimbledon stepped in when they heard of his availability and he has chosen to join them rather than a return to the Stones. Alan Walker was desperately disappointed saying; "It's a case of the haves against the have nots really, we tried to get him back but the lure of a team in the play-off positions as well as the obvious big crowds meant that we were unable to persuade him to return to us which is obviously bitterly disappointing. So we'll just have to continue our search and we remain hopeful we will be able to bring in further signings in the next week."

Finally, congratulations to the U18s who progressed through their Isthmian League Cup match last night winning a penalty shoot-out against Folkestone. Click Here for matchday photos.

 

6th February 2008. 12.45pm

The club announced today that midfielder Errison Ahwan would be reducing his role at the club and would only be available for midweek fixtures.

Manager Alan Walker explained; "Errison is a member of The Seventh-day Adventist Church whose sabbath is a Saturday. He felt that he could no longer commit himself to play on Saturday's because of his beliefs, hence he has decided to reduce his availability to the club to just midweek fixtures. He has said that he still wants to train with us and be available on a non-contract basis and also to play unpaid. He also had concerns that the demands of playing footballat this level were also taking too much toll on him physically and he has been blighted by injuries this season, so reduced football will also mean he will hopefully be less prone to these injuries."

"It is obviously bad news for us but as a club however we respect his decision and are happy for him to remain at the club in this reduced capacity. However, less football will mean his fitness levels will fall, so whilst he will be available for midweek games, we'll only draft him in for emergencies."

 

5th February 2008. 3.15pm

We have received news that today's game has been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. No date has been set for the re-arranged fixture, but we will keep you informed.

 

5th February 2008. 2.15pm

The club have just spoken with Wealdstone FC and have been informed that their landlords Northwood believe that a pitch inspection is necessary for tonight's fixture.

There is apparently standing water in and around one of the goal areas and it continues to rain in the area. At this point (1415) they have not been able to arrange for a referee to inspect but they are continuing to attempt to find a suitably qualified local referee to conduct the inspection for them.

The club have asked that they inform us by 4pm as to whether the game goes on or not so that we don not travel unnecessarily.

 

5th February 2008. 12.45pm

There's good and bad news for the Stones squad as they head to Wealdstone this evening with Craig Roser returning to the squad, but Lynden Rowland out through injury.

Rowland picked up a thigh strain on Saturday and will miss tonight's game. He joins both Smalling (ankle) and Owen (hamstring on the injury list, leaving managers Hume and Walker with little room for manoeuvre after Saturday's defeat.

Speaking about the game Walker said;" It was basic schoolboy errors in defending which cost us the first goal and defensive errors were also to blame for the other two. Ramsgate got far too many chances with people not picking up. We defended badly as a team, with the strikers losing the ball, midfielders letting them run as well as some poor defending. Our players need to listen to what they are being told by myself and Lloyd, but that didn't happen on Saturday."

 

1st February 2008. 11.30am

Stones go into the weekend game with Ramsgate with two injury worries as both Chris Smalling and Erison Ahwan face late fitness tests.

Defender Chris Smalling picked up an ankle knock in his England Schoolboy debut last week, whilst Erison Ahwan has a continuing problem with his hamstring. Also missing this week will be Craig Roser after a recent family bereavement.

However loan signing Jacob Erskine comes straight into the squad for Saturday giving managers Walker and Hume extra options up front.

You can follow the game live with goal flash updates on the official site, but if you are away from a PC and can't make the game, don't forget you can get the goals straight to your phone via our goalflash alerts SMS service, click here for details.

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