Three down and one to go! Kent Cup winners, Ryman Cup winners, Southern Counties League winners (Kent rep team), and now our final match with a win that would see us crowned as league champions. As captain of both teams, I cannot begin to explain how it feels right now! I am already over the moon with all of our achievements, and personally for me, my first year as captain at Gillingham could not have gone any better. But it is not all over yet and I’m not underestimating Coventry. There is still one massive game to go and one I am really looking forward to.
We have played very good teams all season, in our league and in the FA Cup such as Arsenal, but I can already tell you there is going to be no game so far that will be as competitive and as dramatic as Sunday’s game is going to be. We have experienced ups and downs all season, and I’m sure this 90 minutes is also going to live up to all it is being cracked up to be.
Our record against Coventry is pretty even and there is everything to play for. A game like this creates it’s own atmosphere and I encourage people to come and watch this showdown and I can promise you will witness a great game of football. We beat Coventry in the league 4-0 at their place but they revenged our win knocking us out of the league cup in the quarter final stages with a 1-0 defeat again at their place. This will be the first time we have entertained Coventry at home and we will be looking to produce a good performance.
We haven’t lost at home (Chatham FC) all season so that is also another stat we will want to maintain and a part of the clubs history we want to make.
We have been concentrating all week on the game and I believe we can go out and put in a very good performance. All of the players are focused and as a team we are heading in to the game knowing what our own targets are and if we can get them out then that is all that matters.
Coming back from being 1-0 down at Brighton to keep our title hopes in our own hands was brilliant. We knew how we had to change our game in the second half and the management were asking questions of us at half time, and we went out in the second half and answered those questions and came out with the result we needed. This shows how far we have come as a team, our character has come on so much and this shone through on Sunday, we don’t give up and every player works as hard as they can for the players around them.
As much as it might sound silly, not at any point during the season have we set our targets to win the league or have we got carried away with how close we have always been. We have always set our targets on the game in front of us and looked to get all the points out our manager has made before the game and at training throughout the weeks. We haven’t concentrated on results but on performances. If each week you can improve your performance and try to be better than the week before the results will start to follow.
At this point in the season last year we were battling to stay in this league and now we are at the other end of the spectrum, but there has not been any changes other than a few new faces. We have just remained patient and believed in what James has been coaching us to do. We started to learn a new style of play last year and with that came mistakes and losses but again we didn’t concentrate on results but on our performances knowing that eventually it would pay off.
Everyone is going to make mistakes but by concentrating on your individual and the team’s performance each week those mistakes will become less and less and we are now getting our just rewards. Alongside that the attitude, commitment and desire of every player over the last two years and especially this year, has got us to where we are and that is why I believe in every player in this team and that we all deserve everything we are achieving together at this moment in time.
During the week half of our team represented Kent in the last game of the Southern Counties league, another game where a win would secure us the league. The majority of the Gills players that were involved were also involved last year when we won it for the first time. The team for this game had many new faces, after a recent training session some players turned up and impressed and received their first call up. This was really pleasing to see that their is a pool of talented players to choose from and by winning shows what a strong squad we have got.
It was a hard game against the Army who were very physical and were making it difficult for us in the first half with a solid defensive shape, cutting out many chances in the final third, resulting in us having to shoot from distance to try and cause any real trouble. We were also getting used to playing with players that we either don’t play with very often or have never played with before.
The second half was completely different, it all just seemed to click as if we had played together for a long time. Everyone stepped up their game and their intensity. Some of the passages of play and combinations we got out from defence right the way through and in the attacking half were frightening. Our intensity was creating chance after chance after chance and it was only a matter of time before we scored.
I was really pleased to score, in total that was my 12th goal of the season and for a holding midfield player I am really happy with. I get a lot of stick for my shooting sometimes so was really happy to keep good stats with Kent this year as I have scored in both games I have played in and being the equaliser to push us on for a win as captain made it even better.
Jade to score the second was a really well worked goal and she deserved the goal for her work rate and performance on the night. Playing in somewhat of an unusual position for her she really shone and controlled the front line and showed that what was maybe seen as the weaker parts of her game can actually be her strong points. Jade is such a good player and when she plays with that air of confidence she is unstoppable. She has come on so far since joining Gillingham and can go a long way – just got to believe in yourself like the rest of us do!
There were also some other outstanding performances especially in the second half, Gurrsy played really well linking up between the midfield and the forwards (although her shooting was awful 😉 ) Amy Taylor marshalled the back line and swept up everything that wasn’t dealt with, Vicky Holness from Herne Bay played really well and deserved a goal, she looked really comfortable as if she had played there with us all season so really well done from me. I could mention loads of names, Georgia (Charlton) also played really well at centre back when she came on, as it’s not easy to come on when a team is 1-0 and stay solid at the back.
Well done to everyone that has played through out the Kent season and on Wednesday night. Can we do it again next year?
Now on to Sunday. The last game of the season. Here we come!!!
Are you coming to watch???
#gillllssssssss #gillsfam 😉