Hume hails Super Mario

Tuesday 22nd August 2006
Maidstone United joint-manager Lloyd Hume was full of praise for Mario McNish on Saturday, writes Stephen McCartney.


The artist formerly known as Mario Celaire, was a rock at the heart of the Stones' defence during their opening day win at Hastings United.

Goals from strikers Mo Takalobighashi and Lynden Rowland got their debut Ryman League Division One South campaign off to a winning start.

“Mario is brilliant, but I don’t want to make it all about Mario,” a delighted Hume told after the game.

“I’ve openly said and I’ll stick by it, if Mario had played senior football at an earlier age, he wouldn’t be in non-league football now, because he’s very talented, he’s got a great attitude towards the game, he’s a really nice guy on top of that, and he’s a very good player for us and very important.”

The 28-year-old joined from Beckenham Town last summer along with nippy wing-back Nathan Paul.

Paul, however, showed his courage on Saturday, playing his first game of football after being victim of a shocking knife attach whilst on a night out during the close season.

He was only giving the all-clear to make his comeback on the eve of the game after missing the entire pre-season programme.

“I just got the clearance to play on Friday and went out there and done the stuff,” said the brave player.

“I got stabbed in the (right) arm, lost a couple of nerves and tendons and right now I’m doing physio to build it all up.”

Paul, meanwhile, praised his buddy for his excellent display on the east Sussex coast, adding: “He’s the man!  He cleans up for everyone – he looks after the team – he’s the best!"

But McNish is pleased to be playing for the Stones and if he’s going to play at a higher level, it will be with them.

He said: “I’m happy with what I’m doing and I really want to get promoted this year.

“I don’t want to build up and get promoted next year – I want to do it this year.

“It was important to get the win, it was quite comfortable really.  We didn’t have the best pre-season but out there we gelled quite well.”

Maidstone United v Fleet Town
Ryman League Division One South
Wednesday 23rd August 2006

Kick Off
At Sittingbourne FC, Bourne Park, Central Park, Eurolink, Church Road, Sittingbourne