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Page last updated at 13:41 GMT, Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Maidstone United revel in Chris Smalling windfall

Chris Smalling
Smalling will join Manchester United in the summer

Cash-strapped Maidstone United are celebrating a cash windfall after Chris Smalling's move to Manchester United.

The 20-year defender played Ryman League football for the Kent side until 2008 when he moved to Fulham.

Stones have been unable to pay their players since 5 December, but Smalling's transfer from Fulham has triggered a compensation agreement.

"To say the money will come in handy is an understatement," Stones chairman Paul Bowden-Brown told BBC Radio Kent.

He paid tribute to the club's youth development staff for 20-year-old Smalling's emergence as a Premier League player.

"The guys who brought him through deserve all the credit. I only wish we could gain greater financial benefit for their work," he said.

Joint-manager Alan Walker, a former Millwall and Gillingham central defender, believes Smalling could go all the way and become an England international.

He said: "His attitude has always been first class and I know he will go a long way because he is so willing to listen.

"There is no reason why he shouldn't one day play for England."

Smalling is not the first Maidstone youngster to join Manchester United. Sean McGinty, who was on Charlton's books, left The Valley for Old Trafford last summer.

Stones received another cash injection earlier in the week when they were awarded £5,000 from the FA Trophy pool after Histon were expelled from the competition for fielding an ineligible player against them.

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see also
Man Utd complete Smalling signing
28 Jan 10 |  Man Utd
Maidstone reinstated in FA Trophy
25 Jan 10 |  Histon

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