Ahern signs to boost Gills defence

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Gillingham Ladies are pleased today to announce and welcome back defender Rachel Ahern, as she rejoins the club for a third spell.

Part of the formidable Gills record setting clean sheet defence last term, Rachel departed the club and hung up her boots during the summer, but upon her return we asked Rachel what it was like to step back into the club? And what manager Simon Ratcliffe had been like to her coming back into the set up;

“Simon was really welcoming about me coming back, easy to approach and talk to. With his footballing background it’s obvious he knows what he is on about and I’m looking forward to what he can teach me.”

Rachel was more than happy to be back after a break from the game, saying;

“Work was taking up a lot of time, I didn’t have much spare time and the only day I had off was Sunday. I kind of wanted that back, but having had it back and time off I really, really started to miss the football. I missed playing and I missed the girls”

Talking of the girls, there are many new faces in the Gills first team squad this season from when Rachel last pulled on a Gills shirt, we asked Rach how it had been settling back in with new faces in the dressing room;

“All the girls seem really nice, and everyone gets on. It’s a good atmosphere within the team”

Rachel was really impressed at the improvement in facilities the club has secured this summer under the partnership with Gillingham FC;

“The stuff we’ve got access to now, the facilities, the ground we get to play at; it’s exciting. I’ve been playing so long and finally to do so in a stadium, in front of bigger crowds that I’ve played in front of before will be good.”

Gills have yet this season to keep a clean sheet, in the four league games so far.  As Rachel was part of the defence that last season was used to clean sheets, we asked what she would like to add to the team to help influence some improved defensive displays?

“I would say to just keep a calm head and keep the defensive shape covering each other. Look to play ball when possible, but I know that’s not always an option when you’re being attacked in numbers by the opposition”

Gills face Plymouth away on Sunday, pending paperwork Rachel could make her first bow of the season in a Gills kit;

“Yeah hopefully the paperwork will go through in time. I know I’ve not been out for long but in the short time I have, I’ve really missed it. So if I’m selected I can’t wait to make my season debut and get back into the swing of things.”

Manager Simon Ratcliffe is still looking to make additions to strenghen his squad. If you’re interested email sratcliffe@priestfield.com

Gillingham Ladies face Plymouth away this Sunday, you can keep up to date via our social media with match updates as they happen during the afternoon. Our next home fixture is the 2nd October as we welcome Brighton & Hove Albion to Priestfield Stadium – will you be there to roar us on?

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