Maidstone United unveil John Still as their new boss: He’s one of the best managers to ever grace the non-league game and his record speaks for itself

Thursday 24th January 2019

MAIDSTONE UNITED unveiled John Still as their new manager last night.


Still, 68, has come out of retirement to take up an eighteen-month deal as the Head of Football at the club, for a second spell in charge of the Kent club having been manager between 1986-1989.

Still retired from football management last month while the manager of league rivals Barnet following a career spanning more than 40 years and 2,000 matches but after talks with the club’s owners, he will be back in the dug-out for Saturday’s trip to Vanarama National League leaders Leyton Orient.

Still won the Football Conference a record three times – firstly with Maidstone United and then with Dagenham & Redbridge in 2007 and Luton Town seven years later and he faces a different challenge as the Stones battle to retain their status in the top-flight of non-league football.

The club are second-from-bottom in the table with 25 points from 30 games and are six points adrift of safety with 16 games left.

Chief executive Bill Williams told  “I am absolutely delighted John has agreed to join us.

“He’s one of the best managers to ever grace the non-league game and his record speaks for itself.

“For those who followed the Stones in the 80s, John’s place in our club’s history is assured and now a new generation of our supporters will get to see the enthusiasm, passion and skill this man has for the game.”

The Stones have appointed Hakan Hayrettin – who quit as the manager of bottom-of-the-table side Braintree Town yesterday – as first team head coach.

The pair worked together at Luton Town for two and a half seasons, during the time when the Hatters secured promotion back into the Football League in 2014.

A midfielder in his playing days, Hayrettin has spells at clubs including Barnet, Cambridge United and Wycombe Wanderers. He moved into management in 2003 and, either side of his time at Luton, managed at Waltham Forest, Thurrock, Grays Athletic and Braintree Town.

Completing the managerial trio is Simon Walton, who takes up a player/coach role within the new set-up but Tristan Lewis left his temporary managerial role on Tuesday.

Maidstone United have tasted victories in 12 of their 38 games in all competitions this season.

Jay Saunders, who guided the club from the Isthmian League South Division to the Vanarama National League, won two of his seven games in charge this season; Steve Watt failed to win any of his three games in temporary charge; before former Welling United and Billericay Town boss Harry Wheeler won seven of his 21 games while permanent manager, while Lewis and Walton won three of their seven games in the hot-seat.

Braintree Town, meanwhile, have appointed their assistant manager Danny Searle as temporary boss.  The Iron have 22 points on the board.

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