Stones' set to sign "second choice" goalkeeper - EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

Sunday 16th July 2006

Pre-Season Friendly
Tuesday 18th July 2006
At Bayliss Avenue, Thamesmead, London SE28 8NJ

Maidstone United joint-manager Lloyd Hume has revealed he is in discussions with a goalkeeper from the British Energy Kent County League to make the step up into Ryman League Division One South football, writes Stephen McCartney.

The Stones kicked off their pre-season campaign with a goal-less draw at former Kent League rivals Hythe Town yesterday.

But highly-rated goalkeeper, Pat Mullin was replaced after twenty minutes with an suspected ankle injury and was replaced by Nick Day - Hythe’s substitute goalkeeper.

“We don’t know the extent of the injury but we will monitor it,” Hume said in an EXCLUSIVE interview with  “He’s very important to us.”

Stones’ second choice stopper, Richard Mannerings, was at Reachfields Stadium but wasn’t risked as League One side Gillingham are interested in taking the teenager back to Priestfield Stadium.

Speaking about the goalkeeping shortage, Hume said; “We are aware of that but we have got a second choice goalkeeper in mind who we are talking to.

“We are going to have two goalkeepers, I can’t name him yet but he’s from Kent County League level. He’s got some good experience though and he has played at a higher level.”

Three new faces, however, impressed Hume at Reachfields Stadium yesterday - former Beckenham Town pair Errison Ahwan and Tony Sinclair, who have both signed for the Ryman League Division One South newcomers and former Cambridge United left-back Kane Rice.

“I think Errison, if anything, was over trying to impress us but he doesn’t need to because we know what we can do,” said Hume.

“Kane Rice did very well in difficult conditions. He’s a young footballer, with a good grounding and he’s been very keen in pre-season and in the game he looked very solid.”

Hume acknowledged it’s a merry-go-round as players move from club to club in pre-season, training, playing games before deciding which club to sign for.

Hume added: “We expect to make one or two signings before the season but now you find whose available and whose not.”

Looking ahead to their visit to Bayliss Avenue, against a Thamesmead Town side that lost 3-0 to Stones’ rivals Dartford yesterday, Hume is expecting to win.

“Its the same way in any games it’s about fitness rather than results,” he said. “But winning is a good habit to have and we will be taking it seriously just like any other pre-season friendly.”

The Ryman League released their fixture lists last Thursday and the Stones start with a trip to Hastings United on 12th August - one of the opening day fixtures that stick out like a sore thumb.

“I know a lot of the teams from this level,” said Hume. “It’s going to be a good game but we hear in the rumour mill that things aren’t settled there but Hastings are a quality side and it’s going to be a top match.”

Thamesmead Town, tipped for a successful Kent League campaign, have made six summer signings, including former Stone, Ryan Royston.

The Bayliss Avenue outfit, who finished behind Maidstone United and Beckenham Town in the table last season, have also snapped up Rob Tarrant, 23, (signed from Metropolitan Police), James Brown, 23, (VCD Athletic), Scott Mulholland, 19 and the Cable brothers from Faversham Town - Ross and Rikki.

Admission prices:

£6 (adults)
£3 (concessions)

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