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Page last updated at 12:12 GMT, Wednesday, 20 October 2010 13:12 UK

Maidstone United have bright future - Andy Ford

Andy Ford
Ford has become Maidstone's third manager in a year

New Maidstone United manager Andy Ford says the club have a bright future once they secure their return to the town.

The Stones currently play home games in Ashford, but after taking charge of his first match, a 2-2 draw with Hendon, Ford said they have great potential.

"There's a lot of future in it now, the debts have been paid and hopefully in two years we'll be back in the town," he told BBC Radio Kent.

"Support and income streams then come in and you can see a bright future."

Ford has taken over with the Stones bottom of the Ryman Premier Division.

But he believes the club have the potential to follow in the footsteps of Dartford, who saw gates increase and won two promotions shortly after moving into their new ground, Princes Park.

"This place could be another Dartford," said Ford. "There's a lot of future in it. That's not round the corner, it's in the distance, let's take it one game at a time and see where it goes from there."

Ford's number two will be former Maidstone striker Steve Butler, who has held senior coaching positions at Leicester in the Premier League and at both Hull and Gillingham.

And Butler, who played for the Stones during their Football League heyday, has high hopes for the future of the club.

"I was waiting for the club to get to a stage where it could push on," said Butler. "The new people have given it some sort of future. Paul Bowden-Brown (former chairman) was brilliant for this club but he didn't have the finances for this level.

"We used to call it the Man United of non-league and that's where we want to get back to."

Ford and Butler arrived at the club after former boss Peter Nott was sacked on Monday after eight months at the helm.

Chief executive Bill Williams said an experienced manager was just what was required.

"It's difficult when you are bottom of the league, it needed a shake-up and reorganisation," said Williams. "Andy has been around the block for a while, he knows what is required and I was pleased he has accepted."

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