Elokobi Takes Permanent Stones Manager Gig

Maidstone United say 'encouraging' performances are the reason why George Elokobi has been named the clubs new permanent manager.

The former Stones defender has been in temporary charge of the club since previous manager Hakan Hayrettin left in January.

The 37-year-old - who previously played for and captained the club - has been given the role until the end of next season.

Under Elokobi so far, the Vanarama National League side are yet to win a league game - but a fairytale run to the quarter-finals of the FA Trophy convinced Chief Executive Bill Williams he was their man.

Williams said: "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 not 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."

Former Wolves and Nottingham Forest man 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. I know you will continue to dedicate your time to make this club as successful as it can be.

"To all the players, I want to thank you for continuing to give your all under the current circumstances. Under the new structure and with your continued hard work, I know we can only get better and get back to our winning ways.

"To the amazing Maidstone United supporters, I want to thank you for your patience this season. Your support has not gone unnoticed. Here’s to bringing Maidstone United back to its winning ways.

"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."

Where next?

Unibet's Vanarama National League Matchday 40 Preview Saturday is Non-League day - but it’ll be the last one for a while for which clubs?
Live Blog: Vanarama National League Deadline Day There may not be bright yellow ties and managers hanging out of car windows, but today is registration deadline day - and the final chance to boost squads for the run in.