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Spalding United manager Gabriel Zakuani on the super signing of Marcus Maddison

Manager Gabriel Zakuani feels the stellar signing of Marcus Maddison shows the ambition of the Northern Premier League club.

The Tulips pulled off the massive signing coup last week when the former Peterborough United ace agreed terms to play at the Sir Halley Stewart next season.

Zakuani feels his former Posh team-mate will be the 'best player in non-league' and his acquisition is a sign of Spalding's intent this season.

Marcus Maddison after joining the Tulips last week.
Marcus Maddison after joining the Tulips last week.

He said: "Getting a player of Marcus Maddison's quality on board at this level is unheard of.

"He is hands down the best player in non-league and there is no two ways about that in my eyes.

"The signing is about helping Marcus, helping myself and the club by putting Spalding on the map.

"At the end of the day, we are going to be judged on results but we are more likely to get those results with Marcus Maddison on the pitch."

Maddison started his career as a youngster at Newcastle United before joining Gateshead following his release.

His exploits at Gateshead saw him named Conference player of the year which helped secure his move to Peterborough.

He spent six seasons with Posh before joining Hull City on loan and then transferring to Charlton Athletic.

Maddison spent last season on loan with Bolton Wanderers and manager Zakuani admitted his new recruit had started to fall out of love with the game.

Zakuani explained: "I gave Marcus a call as a former team-mate and told him to take his mind off football and spend time with his family.

"Everything becomes clearer when you take time out. He did that and decided that he wanted to play part-time.

"It just clicked for us and everything fitted into place. We offered him a deal which he was happy with and it is the sort of signing that shows the ambition of where I am trying to put the club.

"All the boys are buzzing with the signing and Marcus has shown that he's not just coming in to mess around.

"He has been doing one-on-one sessions so he is getting down and dirty really early.

"He hasn't played football for a month or so and I need him to hit the ground running when he comes in.

"There will be a lot of pressure and eyes on us so I want my quality players to be ready to hit the ground running as soon as we start the season.

"I have been used to pressure all my whole life though and it is something that we can deal with.

"This is a different sort of challenge where I have got to build Spalding from the ground up and change the mentality of the place.

"They have been happy to survive in the league so we have got to look up because we want to go as far as we can."

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