Focus on Chris Smalling

Smalling's big journey

October 8, 2011
By Richard Jolly
The journey from the Rymans League to the Champions League took a little over two years. The path from Maidstone United to Manchester United is not a common one and, though Chris Smalling had a stop-off at Fulham, he completed it at startling speed.

Yet, not so long ago, there were doubts over whether he was ready for first-team football: not at Old Trafford, but at the Bourne Park ground Maidstone shared with Sittingbourne.

"It took a lot of persuading for the first-team management ...

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