Andy has been a busy bee this summer following his popular return. (©PAphotos)
Optimism has not always been in plentiful amounts at Priestfield in recent times, but I feel the 2010-11 season could be a very good one for Gillingham – so too does Gills legend Andy Hessenthaler.
One thing I feel the current squad has which it hasn’t in the past is depth. I feel that if we were to lose a few players to injury/suspension then there are players which are more than capable of filling the gap.
This depth has been installed by new manager Andy Hessenthaler. His new signings have all impressed and many fans are relishing the chance to see players like Cody McDonald and Danny Spiller in a Gills shirt, whereas previous managers have made some rather uninspiring signings.
At the time of writing, Hessenthaler has made seven summer signings. His first two captures were Stefan Payne and Andrew White, Hess himself admitted that he didn’t know too much about the young boys but that they had come highly recommended and so far in pre-season friendlies both have impressed, especially Payne who appears to be quick, sharp and with a keen eye for goal.
The Gills followed up with the signing of Tony Sinclair, a versatile defender with great athleticism. Danny Spiller was next to sign up for the season, the tenacious midfielder had played for Gillingham up until a few years ago and had established himself as a firm fan favourite with his energetic, high tempo, hardworking style of play.
Cody McDonald was the next to join the Hess express. The young striker made his name at Dartford, with a scoring record of 19 goals in 20 games, catching the eye of Norwich City who gave him his chance in league football.
The Kent faithful have already seen Cody in action at Preistfield as he scored a good goal against Gillingham for Norwich in last year’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy. Cody is a highly rated young striker, and a signing Gills fans are certainly excited about.
Another of Hessenthaler’s additions is England C international goalkeeper Lance Cronin. Lance has built a good reputation whilst playing at Ebbsfleet United and many Fleet fans felt it was a matter of time before he was given a opportunity to prove himself at football league level. I believe he will be pushing Alan Julian for the Keeper’s jersey come August 7th.
The most exciting capture by Hess is huge powerhouse striker Adebayo Akinfenwa. I believe “Bayo” could be a superb signing for the Gills, partnering Cody McDonald up front which, on paper, would be one of the leagues strongest partnerships. I was astounded at the size of this man mountain, word around Preistfield was that the club had to order in XXXL shorts especially for him!
So in conclusion I am very optimistic about the coming season, everything seems to be in place for a successful year. The players look up for the fight, the squad seems to have a fantastic team spirit, the manager looks able to get the best from the strong team and even the kit looks great! I look forward to writing more success stories as the squad gels and the big man up top starts banging in the goals!
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.