It’s been a very busy summer of recruitment for the Gills. Whilst on the pitch plenty of new faces have been making their mark, off the pitch too, Gillingham Ladies have benefited from the arrival of new Assistant Manager Jack Wheeler.
We caught up with Jack following Gills 5-0 victory against Chesham Ladies on Sunday to find out another new Gills Ladies recruit.
First things first, we asked Jack what brought him to the Kent outfit. Jack told us; “I’ve worked with James for a number of years now. We worked together at the Beckham Academy, at a few other places and he has worked with me at Pro Kickers Academy.”
“He uttered a few things towards the end of last season and asked me to come down and watch a few games to see what I think. He then told me he wanted me to get involved and help out and thought I could bring something to the table. So I came down and had a little watch at the end of last season on the sly and I was really impressed.”
“I thought to myself it was a good thing to get involved in, I could see the girls were willing to learn and willing to listen and that’s half the battle for me. I thought I could work with the girls and I enjoy spending time with them. When we went to Cardiff it was a good bonding experience, not just for the players but for the staff to sit down with the players and get to know them better. It was really good to have that time and go away. “
It’s an exciting venture for Jack as his first managerial position within a ladies set up; “This is a new chapter for me and I said that to some of the girls at the start. A lot of my coaching has been men’s and grassroots all the way through. I have done a lot of senior teams on the way through but they’ve always been men’s teams.”
“I said to Marrsy at no point have I really been involved with the women’s game, I’ve coached some girl’s teams but never ladies. Obviously, the style and tone is different and we have different ways to work and it’s been a learning curve for me.”
But it’s a journey Jack is clearly enjoying and with lots of hard work and energy invested into the club during pre-season and in the build up to games, it seems Jack is enjoying his time at Gillingham Ladies. “I’ve taken lots on board and had to react quite quickly to it to see how the girls are motivated and how they individually want to be motivated. I’m really pleased with the girls at the minute and their attitudes are spot on. “
And long may the learning curve at Gillingham Ladies continue for Jack, alongside the great results he and manager James Marrs are carving out besides the Gillingham players.