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Sacked Stones boss Jay Saunders lands manager's job at Margate

Wednesday 15th May 2019

FORMER Maidstone United boss Jay Saunders has signed a permanent deal to become manager at Margate Football Club.

Mr Saunders, who was sacked by the Stones last September after an indifferent start to the National League campaign, confirmed the deal this week.

The 40-yar-old father of four took over the struggling seaside club last season as it hovered in the relegation zone and led the side to safety.

But the two parties were unable to strike a deal to make the job permanent. 

A statement from Margate FC said: "Following success in turning last season around, the board always felt Jay would be an ideal fit for the manager’s position.  

"Negotiations to keep Jay at the club commenced in March but despite both the club and Jay knowing the partnership was a perfect fit, an agreement could not be reached at that time.

"Whilst both parties could not decide on terms, there was never any ill feeling and over the time period since, the club has remained in touch with Jay. 

"Those ongoing discussions came to fruition this weekend and the Board were able to confirm a deal."

Speaking on behalf of the directors, club chairman, Terry Painter said: “We are delighted to be able to inform supporters that Jay is here to stay. Jay has a strong connection with the club and didn't want the opportunity to slip away.

“Likewise, as a club, we wanted to secure the deal, given Jay's experience and excellent track record.

“We can now look forward to the 2019/20 campaign under Jay’s leadership."

Mr Saunders said: "I’m really pleased to get an agreement sorted with the club. I make no secret of the fact the club is special to me as both a player and during my spell as manager last season.

“Whilst disappointed we couldn’t reach an initial agreement, with the benefit of the close season and some time, I feel this is right for me.

“I was delighted to keep the club up last season and now the hard work will begin to prepare for the new campaign. As a club we are looking to progress over the next few years, building a young talented squad that provides stability and steady progress. It’s a challenge I’m excited for and want to carry on building a buzz around the football club.”

Many Stones fans were disappointed at their manager's departure and some hoped he would be reappointed.