Maidstone United appoint George Elokobi as permanent manager until the end of next season
MAIDSTONE UNITED have appointed George Elokobi as their permanent manager until the end of next season.
The 37-year-old Cameron born Elokobi has been in interim charge for 14 games in all competitions but has failed to pick up any victories in the Vanarama National League since stepping in after Hakan Hayrettin’s departure.
The Stones are rooted to the foot of the table, having picked up five wins, nine draws and 24 defeats and they are 13 points adrift of safety with eight league games remaining and are destined to return to the National League South, which they celebrated winning the league title last season.
Elokobi needs no introduction to Stones fans having been at the club since the summer of 2019, captaining the team for three seasons and ending a distinguished 20-year playing career to and end last May, scoring the opening goal in the final game of their title-winning campaign.
Alongside his first-team commitments, Elokobi worked at the club’s football Academy for three years, coaching and inspiring the next generations, all while gaining his Football Association coaching qualifications.
Chief executive Bill Williams said in a statement: “I know I speak on behalf of the board in saying how delighted we are to appoint George as our first-team manager.
“It goes without saying that this season has now panned out in the way we’d hoped and there has been a lot of soul-searching behind the scenes.
“As caretaker-manager the performances under George have been encouraging, when you consider the squad he inherited and the horrendous injury list.
“We can’t change what’s happened this season but we can focus on the future and aim to bounce back strongly.
“George has set out a clear plan and vision for the first-team and is ideally placed to hit the ground running as there is a lot of work to be done over the summer.
“In the four years he’s been at our club, George has shown exceptional leadership. We believe he’s the right man to lead us and he will have our full support.”
Elokobi added: “A huge thanks to the board for entrusting me with the role as the new Maidstone United manager.
“I also want to take this opportunity to thank all the backroom staff who have been working tirelessly behind the scenes since my appointment as interim-manager.
“As we are all fully aware this season has not gone as we all hoped. We can’t change the past, however, we can learn from this and obviously look to the future. My plan is to rebuild and bring back the success Maidstone United FC thoroughly deserves.”
Elokobi moved to England when he was 16 and has since played for Dulwich Hamlet, Colchester United, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Nottingham Forest, Oldham Athletic, Leyton Orient, Aldershot Town and Maidstone United.
Elokobi is an ambassador for Diabetes UK and supports a charity that sends sports kit and equipment to his native Cameroon.
Maidstone United host third-placed Woking tomorrow (15:00).
The Stones are joined in the relegation zone by Torquay United (31 points from 37 games), Scunthorpe United (33 points from 38 games) and Gateshead (34 points from 35 games).
Gateshead and Maidstone United won the league below last season, while Scunthorpe United were relegated from League Two.
Maidstone United’s results while George Elokobi was in interim charge:
Away Notts County D2-2 (Won 6-5 on penalties) – FA Trophy
Away Wrexham L2-3 – League
Home Aldershot Town L0-3 – League
Away Torquay United L0-1 – League
Away York City D2-2 – League
Away Eastleigh W4-0 – FA Trophy
Away Oldham Athletic L0-2 – League
Home Eastleigh L1-3 – League
Home Gateshead D1-1 – League
Home Scunthorpe United D1-1 – League
Away Solihull Moors L0-2 – League
Away Wealdstone L1-2 – League
Home Barnet D2-2 (Lost 3-2 on penalties) – FA Trophy Quarter-Final
Away Maidenhead United L1-2 – League
Visit Maidstone United’s website: www.maidstoneunited.co.uk