My tribe
As featured on NewsNow: Football news

Maidstone mentor backing Smalling for Man Utd success

Chris Smalling's former mentor at Maidstone United has backed the young defender for success at Manchester United.

Maidstone United's general manager, Bill Williams, worked with Smalling at the non-league club and revealed he met with United boss Sir Alex Ferguson to discuss the former Fulham defender.

"I had a meeting with Alex at Old Trafford and he felt he had got a little gem in Chris.

"He said he was someone with a few rough edges that needed to be smoothed off. I am sure Manchester United have the knowledge and expertise to polish him as a player."

Smalling arrived at Maidstone after leaving Millwall's academy and quickly began to realise his potential.

Former Portsmouth and West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Williams told the Manchester Evening News: "He needed the experience of playing at a different standard. He did that and has now gone through this rapid movement along the pathway.

"I have been in the game since I was 15 and seen many players come through. If I am being honest I would have liked Chris to have played 40-50 league games for Fulham before making a move.

"I feel that would have done him a power of good. He has not played enough Premier League football and United will have to be patient with him."

 Need your Manchester United news fix? Click here for all United news and transfer rumours.

About the author

Tribal Football Staff

Have your say
  • Add your favourite leagues and clubs
  • Build your own personal news stream
  • Easily share your favourite stories
  • Connect with what your friends are saying

Select your favourite
leagues and clubs
to get started.

Already part of MyTribe?