Maidstone United add defenders George Elokobi and Gavin Hoyte to their new-look squad
MAIDSTONE UNITED have added a couple of defenders ahead of their Vanarama National League South return.
The Stones finished rock bottom in the top-flight last season and John Still and Hakan Hayrettin have added George Elokobi and Gavin Hoyte to their new-look squad.
Elokobi will need no introduction to most fans of the English game having made his name at Wolverhampton Wanderers, playing for the Black Country club in both the Premier League and Championship.
The Cameroon born defender has also played for Colchester United, Nottingham Forest, Bristol City and Oldham Athletic amongst others, Elokobi has joined Maidstone United from Aldershot Town, who finished fourth-from-bottom last season but were reprieved from relegation after Gateshead’s demotion to the National League North.
“It feels brilliant to be here. It’s a good club – I played here at the end of last season, I enjoyed the atmosphere so I’m glad to be here,” said the 33-year-old, who was interviewed by www.maidstoneunited.co.uk.
“I spoke to Hakan Hayrettin to find out what was in place here and what sort of club it was. Once we spoke about this, it was a project I wanted to be a part of.
“I come here with a lot of experience under my belt and I can assure everyone they’ve not experienced someone like me before! We’ve had our holidays and time off and now I’m looking forward to getting going.”
Hoyte, 29, meanwhile, makes the switch from National Leaguers Dagenham & Redbridge.
In a professional career spanning more than a decade, he started at Arsenal from the age of nine and went on to make several senior appearances for his boyhood club.
While signed for the Gunners, he had loan spells with Watford, Brighton & Hove Albion, Lincoln City and AFC Wimbledon.
A permanent move to Dagenham & Redbridge followed in 2012 and in two spells with the east London side – including last season – he made more than 75 appearances.
In between his Victoria Road days, the 29-year-old played for Gillingham, Barnet and Eastleigh.
Hoyte, who has signed a one-year deal at Maidstone United, told www.maidstoneunited.co.uk: “I am delighted to get the deal done. I’ve played here a few times and know how great the fanbase is.
“I’ve worked under John Still before at Dagenham, so I know what he wants and expects.
“He knows how to get the best of out players and he knows how to win leagues, so I am sure he will help me and the team achieve what we want to.
“This is going to be a tough league but if we get our team together and work hard, we can beat anyone.”
Maidstone United open their pre-season campaign with a trip to Bostik South East Division side Herne Bay on Saturday 6 July 2019 (15:00).
Visit Maidstone United’s website: www.maidstoneunited.co.uk