2008 – A possible vintage year??

Now I have been coming to Priestfield since 1995, during that time I have seen some fantastic players, Ade Akinbiyi, Super Bob, Paul Smith in his prime, Hessy, Ade Pennock, Marlon King, Paul Shaw etc etc, I have also seen some very bad players, Barry Miller, Charlie Mitton, Billy Manuel, Most of Neale Cooper and Ronnie Jepson’s signings – I think that has given me a very good cross section of the good and the bad.

When Tony Pullis came in he injected a bit nastiness and some experience into a side made up of journeymen footballers – Priestfield became a fortress, and we marched to promotion, we had a couple of years of getting to know the new division then had a good two years of pushing for promotion before the fantastic (2nd) day at Wembley.

That season in 1999 was an amazing rollercoaster of emotion, which ended with a fantastic promotion as well as a fantastic FA Cup run which ended at Stamford Bridge. Peter Taylor had moulded an already capable streetwise bunch of footballers into a team which started to play football from the back.

Our new manager has taken a bunch of useless unfit footballers, figured out who was shit and who wanted to stay – and is now moulding them into a unit. Led by the rapidly improving Simon King at the back, and epitomised by the Alice band wonder that is “windy” Miller, our team is taking shape, and looking good for (dare one say it) a late run at the play-offs. History will tell that form teams at the start of the year usually go up through the play-offs.

Our esteemed Chairman has to take a bit of credit here – remember the moaning on the message boards that we all read and post on after 8 weeks of no manager? He bided his time until “Stimmo” (another Jamie Reed nickname?) was available – and the man has done a fantastic job since he has been here. I think we can safely say that Mr Scally has done the club proud with his appointment.

Let’s look at Stimson’s signings: –

Nutter: Solid left-back, fantastic distribution, reliable gets his tackles in (just what we needed here)

Miller: A Revelation, very Paul Shaw like with his prompting from midfield, scores goals too!

Bygrave: Only on loan, but forming a good partnership with Simon King

Oli: Scored a couple of goals, but jury is still out, looks exciting, but a little lightweight to me.

A bit of an “impact player” but still an asset

Thurgood: A good footballer, good range of passing, puts his foot in

The only thing really missing is that 20 goals a season man up front and let’s face it; we have been spoilt in the past with those sorts of players. With the promise of more players to come, and 9 of the current squad up for loan/Sale things are looking bright for the first time in 4 seasons.
The chairman has finally done something (better late than never) to stop the rot, now it’s time for us fans to do our bit too. Remember in the late 90’s how Priestfield was a horrible place to visit for away teams? This was due in no small part to the intimidating atmosphere that we fans created, if we could get back to that, our team and we fans could have a very good 2008


7 Responses to 2008 – A possible vintage year??

  1. Chris says:

    I agree the club feels as though it is for the first time in a number of years actually looking up. I know look at the table thinking who can we overtake rather than to see who below us can overtake us.

  2. Chris says:

    That should be now not know

  3. Buddha says:

    Billy Manuel was never the greatest player and in his second spell with the club, I’ll grant you, he didn’t particularly shine.

    But take my word for it, Scatman, when Billy first played for us he was one of our more talented, and more committed players. And he scored a fantastic goal against Southend one year. I can still recall it now, stopping sharply underneath the Sondes clock, turning, and then sweetly curling the ball diagonally across the penalty box and into the top corner!

    Definitely agree though, that Stimson is a decent appointment and that hopefully Gillingam FC’s fortunes are starting to improve! We need to collect all 3 points today (against Northampton) to keep the momentum going.

    Up the Gills!

  4. GFC1982 says:

    Ballsed that up then didn’t we?

  5. PettsWoodGill says:

    So much for my rare bout of optimism pre Northampton. I shall not make any more rash predictions in future. On Saturday, “Windy” was excellent. The rest were poor (apart from Royce who had nothing to do and had no chance with the goal).

    Of the squad from the start of the season I would only keep three players. Royce – fantastic. Bentley – solid. King – improving/good prospect. Possibly keep Mulligan as he tries so hard, if he had any ability he would be superb but his hard working run to reach Windy’s superb 50 yard pass in the second half only to kick it straight off summed up his limitations.

    Southall – past it. Cox !!!!! At least he gave some entertainment – liked the one/two he played off their centre forward and the fluffed clearance that led to some exciting goalmouth action. Crofts – what has happened to him ? Certainly not captain material. Facey – fatter than me. Can’t be bothered to comment on the rest (which says it all really). Let me know if I’ve been unfair to anyone as I haven’t seen every home game.

    Re Scatman’s report, well, in spite of the rant above I agree. Give ‘Stimmo’ time and things are likely to improve. The new players need time to gel and get used to this level of football. At least the long years of signing past it old pro’s who want a ‘pension’ without playing seem to have gone.

  6. Bring Back Les Berry says:

    Totally agree – especially Southall – he was shocking against MK Scum and Northampton. Rocastle added nothing and Cox is a clown in a Gills shirt!

    As I stated in the rpevious thread, we have to concentrate on staying up. Saturday showed that despite the optimism after the Huddersfield win, we really aren’t good enough on a consistent basis.

    If we can stay up and Stimson can continue working on shaping his own team then I still remain optimistic for next season!

    One other thing, does anyone else find the official website’s need to refer to all players by their nickname, even in the headings, a bit of a joke and a little sad? I mean, ‘Millsy’ ffs? He’s called Miller, and the only potential nickname, as stated in this column, is Windy. Shortening every player’s name and adding ‘sy’ or ‘ers’ (as in ‘Mullers’) is starting to grate!

  7. Jez says:

    I concur with Bring Back Les Berryosy’s comments! Another “Nutter” at right back would be a welcome signing (or should that be “Nuttsy”).

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