Football: Maidstone United name ex-Indomitable Lions defender Elokobi as manager 0

Maidstone United have appointed George Elokobi as manager until the end of next season after a spell in caretaker charge of the National League club.

The 37-year-old former defender, who was born in Cameroon but moved to England aged 16, played in the Premier League during his time with Wolves.

Elokobi had been in temporary charge after Hakan Hayrettin left in January. “My plan is to rebuild and bring back the success Maidstone thoroughly deserves,” said Elokobi.

Maidstone have failed to win any of their 11 league matches under Elokobi’s temporary stewardship and are bottom of the National League, 13 points from safety, with eight games of the campaign remaining.

Elokobi, who won both the Championship and League One titles as a player at Wolves, finished his playing career with Maidstone, having captained them to promotion to the National League in 2021-22.

His three-year spell with Maidstone ended a career that saw him quickly rise from non-league Dulwich Hamlet into the EFL with Colchester United and later the top division with Wolves.

Another highlight of his time at Molineux was a headed goal in a Wolves win over Manchester United in 2011 that ended a 29-match unbeaten run for the Red Devils.

“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,” Elokobi told the club website.

“A huge thanks to the board for entrusting me with the role. I also want to thank all the backroom staff, who have been working tirelessly behind the scenes since my appointment as interim manager.

“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.”

Hayrettin had guided Maidstone to the National League South title last season but departed after a run of two wins in 23 fixtures in all competitions.

Maidstone chief executive Bill Williams added: “As caretaker manager the performances under George have been encouraging, when you consider the squad he inherited and the horrendous injury list.

“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.”

Source: BBC