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Thursday, 30 May 2013

Gillingham prepare for first full season under Burrow [FINAL EDITION]

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Welcome to:

"The Pride of Kent"

A periodic look into the trials and tribulations of Division Four side Gillingham FC.


 



James Burrow begins his first full season in charge of Gillingham on Saturday, and all the build-up to the weekend's match against Wycombe Wanderers will be here, in the FINAL EDITION of 'The Pride of Kent'

Season 7 was in the words of James Burrow, a work in progress. The Gills finished the season in 16th place, with new signing David Nugent just scraping onto the Top 25 goalscorers in Division Four, finishing on an impressive 12 goals in 22 appearances. Season 7 saw Gillingham undergo a major overhaul, with only Brian Ferreira and Zymer Bytyqi surviving the cut from the previous management. 

During the close season, no fewer than 9 players joined Gillingham, with the owners granting the manager with 'suitable' funds given their financial woes over the past two seasons. First in was young midfielder Tom Carroll. The England U19 international joined for £5m from Northampton Town, then a transfer record under Burrow's management. this was beaten shortly afterwards by the £6m transfer of Jake Livermore from Manchester United, the 23 year old central midfielder a target of Portsmouth, Walsall and Brighton. Gillingham first full international joined within a week of Livermore, Welsh international Neil Taylor joined for a club record £7m fee from Aston Villa. Gillingham then made a triple swoop in the free agent market, signing up James Chester, Kasper Schmeichel and Troy Deeney on free transfers. The free agent market would prove to be fruitful, with striker Simon Cox joining on a free, shortly after the £4m transfer of Ben Watson from Guadalajara. 

Gillingham fans will hope that their pre-season is not a sign of things to come. The Gills have yet to win or even score in their three games so far against top flight Fulham and Nottingham Forest, and Fourth Division side Brighton, a side who finished three places and 14 points behind Gillingham last season. Captain Almen Abdi has yet to train, having picked up a groin injury at the end of last season. James Perch will also miss the Wycombe game, having being sent off in the final game. Wycombe will prove a stern test for Gillingham, with the likes of Robbie Keane, Simon Mignolet, and Heikko Westermann amongst their ranks. However, Gillingham have the upper hand in terms of history, with three victories and a loss out of their past four meetings.

Many thanks to everyone who has read my blog posts. Unfortunately University took up a lot of time over the past few months, and having accepted more hours at work and currently learning to drive, cannot warrant spending hours providing match reports and previews.

'The Pride of Kent' signing off...

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