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Club News

IN OPPOSITION: GILLINGHAM

16 June 2016

For so long during last season, Gillingham looked like genuine contenders for promotion until their form began to crumble and the wins began to dry up.

Ultimately their form cost them a place in the top six when they had, especially in the early parts of the season, looked like contenders for automatic promotion. 

The Gills produced 31 points from their opening 15 fixtures to leave them in a very strong position; form dipped briefly throughout November and December but they recovered to win 4 times on the bounce against Millwall, Swindon Town, Colchester United and Bradford City respectively. A 3-2 loss at Wigan Athletic shortly afterwards live in front of the Sky Sports signalled a real slump in form which cost them dearly.

Justin Edinburgh's men won just 4 more games after defeating The Bantams at the beginning of the calendar year, with a run of three successive defeats at the end of the season leading to an ultimately disappointing 9th placed finish.

AT THE HELM: JUSTIN EDINBURGH


A young manager who has enjoyed a positive start to life in charge at Gillingham, at the age of 46 it wasn't so long back he had his boots on.

He began his playing career with Southend United in 1988 and signed for Tottenham Hotspur in 1990; he went on to become a firm favourite with the Spurs faithful and made over 200 league appearances during a decade before a Millennium switch to Portsmouth. 

Games came at a premium at Fratton Park and he retired whilst playing in non-league for Billericay Town. He had a spell with the latter as player-manager and had brief spells in charge at Fisher Athletic and Grays
Athletic before taking over at Rushden & Diamonds in 2009. He took over at Newport County in 2011 and guided the Welsh club back into the Football League after many years away and he was snapped up by Gillingham in February 2015 following the sacking of Peter Taylor.

DANGER MEN


Bradley Dack was talismanic for Gillingham last season and was voted as the Player of the Year for League One. A hugely talented player, Dack scored 15 times in all competitions for The Gills and still only 22 years of age he is reportedly attracting interest from higher up the footballing ladder.

Dack is a player who Gillingham would love to keep hold of and should he begin the season with The Kent club, he could be a crucial asset for them if they are to mount a promotion challenge and go one better than they did last season.

Gillingham recently completed the signing of Mark Byrne from League Two Newport County. A player who knows Justin Edinburgh from his days with the South Wales club, he was captain and scooped a whole host of accolades at the club's end of season awards ceremony. The 27 year old Republic of Ireland native scored 3 times in 52 appearances and could have a key role to play at his new club this coming season.

HEAD TO HEAD:


Gillingham have a great record against Bradford City and very much have the advantage in terms of past encounters between the two clubs. The two have met on 48 occasions and Gillingham have won 22 of those; City have won just 12 with 13 of the games resulting in draws.

The Bantams were beaten twice by the Gills last season with the latest encounter coming on a rain-soaked day in Kent. City were beaten 3-0 with Bradley Dack, Rory Donnelly and Doug Loft all finding the scoresheet as
Nathan Clarke was sent off deep into injury time.

The reverse fixture in August was City's second home match of the season and it started so well for Phil Parkinson's men with James Hanson opening the scoring after just 7 minutes. Luke Norris equalised just after the interval before Hanson's own goal meant that The Gills would take all three points back to Kent. 

THEIR OWN PATCH


MEMS Priestfield Stadium

A tidy football ground in the main, perhaps the one thing that hinders the appearance of the ground is the stand where away fans are housed. Visiting supporters are housed in the Brian Moore Stand and it is a temporary golf type stand which is open to the weather conditions.

Aside from that stand, the main stand (The Medway Stand) is a two-tiered affair which is home to the press facilities and the executive facilities. Opposite to that is a small, fully seated stand called the Gordon Road
stand; it is quite a small stand and there are supporting pillars that could obstruct viewing of the game.

The Rainham End behind the goal is where the atmosphere comes from inside the ground. The stand is usually close to capacity and a good amount of noise can be generated from that end. The away end is deceptively large so it takes only a large away following to make the stand look remotely full.

11,582Capacity:

ME7 4DDPostcode:

FANCY A FLUTTER?

Gillingham are priced at 11/2 to earn promotion into The Championship with
Sky Bet and 16/1 to win the League One title.

www.skybet.com 



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