Monday 14th February 2005

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Sinden released by Stones

UNDER ACHEIVERS Maidstone United have announced the release of three experienced players with immediate effect following their 1-0 defeat at league leaders Herne Bay, which dented their slender chances of success, writes Stephen McCartney.

The defeat leaves the Stones in sixth place in the Go Travel Kent League table and twelve points of Herne Bay with only ten games to play.

Speaking after the defeat at Winch's Field, coach Alan Walker told the club's website: "We've already started to rebuild for next year and we've already let a few people go and on this performance, some of the one's who are still here are not good enough either.  We will be strengthening the team and the rebuilding starts right now."

The three players released this week are centre backs Ben Taylor and Ross Edwards but it's the release of last season's Go Travel Kent League Golden Boot winner Richard Sinden, which signals the intent of the management team of Walker and Lloyd Hume.

Since joining the club in 2003, Edwards made 101 starts for the Stones, scoring 17 times.  He was the team captain for the final half of last season.

Taylor, however, only joined the club this season.  The former Millwall youth team player had previously played for Hume and Walker at Fisher Athletic and Sittingbourne.  He made 13 appearances for the Stones but was sent off in his last game for the club in the Premier Division Quarter-Final defeat at Hythe Town.

Arguably the most high profile of the player releases concerns fans favourite Sinden.  He played 122 games (plus 28 as a substitute) and scored 98 goals for the club since his return to senior non-league football in season 2001-02.

The striker is sure to attract attention from a whole host of clubs keen to sign him.

Already this season he rebuffed overtures to sign for Nationwide Conference South side Bishop's Stortford and Ryman League first division side Hastings Untied, now managed by former Everton and Wales goalkeeping legend, Neville Southall.

Commenting on Sinden's departure, Walker added: "Really it was a case that his body language showed his heart wasn't in it anymore and that the club and the player were moving in different directions.

"We gave him a run out at Hythe but he failed to perform and being the most expensive striker at the club we felt that he was really short changing the team and the chairman."

Walker continued: "We don't think that we were getting value for money from all three players and it's been decided that they are not what we need to take the club forward.  So we've let them go, we wish all three of them the very best of luck wherever they go. I'm sure they'll go on to be successes like almost everybody who leaves Maidstone United does."

The indications are that there may well be further players released this week, but Walker confirmed that replacements were being sought; "By freeing up money we can now look at bringing in players for next season, but whether we'll be able to bring them in now or over the summer remains to be seen.

"It may well be an opportunity for one or two of the reserves although Terry Cordice (Reserves Manager) still feels that they need more experience before coming through into the first team".  One player who has made the move, Lloyd Miller requested he returned to the Reserves this weekend to regain his match fitness after he was unable to commit to the first team due to work commitments. But with those now sorted out, he looks set to return to the squad this Saturday."

Maidstone United v Beckenham Town
Go Travel Kent League Premier Division
Saturday 19th February 2005
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Bourne Park, Central Park Stadium, Eurolink, Sittingbourne