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Match Previews

League 1 Preview: Gillingham

23 October 2015

We turn our focus to Justin Edinburgh's Gillingham.

We continue our look at every one of our opponents in the 2015-16 season by taking a glimpse at Gillingham - Kent's only Football League club.

Who are this lot then?
Gillingham are certainly one of the nearer teams the Blues will face in League 1, and last season they did excellently to finish upper mid-table. They've been a bit of a yo-yo club between League 1 and 2 but now appear to have stability and have been in the third tier of English football for the last two seasons, after winning promotion from League 2.

Did they get up to much last season?
It was quite a comfortable season for the Gills during the 2014-15 campaign. They swapped one ex-Blue for another during the season, as Peter Taylor was replaced by Justin Edinburgh. They earned some notable scalps along the way, beating the likes of Peterborough United, Swindon Town, Sheffield United and MK Dons. The Gills finished in 12th place on 62 points, seven points off the final play-off place.

Who's the boss?
Justin Edinburgh (below) took over after Peter Taylor was dismissed and helped move the Gills away from the bottom to the top of the bottom half of the table. He'd previously been with Newport County in League 2 before making the move up a division. Edinburgh managed in non-league with the likes of Fisher Athletic and Rushden & Diamonds before joining County. As a player, the centre back started out with Southend before moving on to Tottenham Hotspur, then Portsmouth before finishing his playing days at Billericay Town.

Any stand out players?
Bradley Dack (below) is a midfielder with an eye for a pass and an eye for goal. Born in Greenwich, Dack came through the Charlton youth team before moving to the Gills' academy in 2010, he turned professional in 2012 and has since gone on to total nearly 100 appearances for the Club. He had a loan spell with our Essex neighbours Braintree Town back in 2013. Another to watch out for is striker Cody McDonald, who's capable of scoring some spectacular goals.

Any links?
As well as Edinburgh and Taylor, there are a number of players to have represented both. Current Blues Adam Barrett and Myles Weston are former Gills players, as is Joe Pigott, who enjoed loan spells with both teams.

What's the ground like?
Opened in the late 1800's and has been Gillingham's home since birth. Brighton & Hove Albion spent time playing their during a stadium dispute back in the late 1990s but now it is just the Gills as the football team it's home to. The London Broncos have played at Priestfield since 2013 and the stadium holds just over 11,500. Blues fans will be housed behind one of the goals, and we advise you bring your brolly, just incase it rains - the stand is uncovered!

How far away is the place?
A journey to Gillingham is a 90-mile round trip for Blues fans leaving from Southend.

Any big name fans?
Legendary commentator Brian Moore was a big fan of the Gills, as was Sir David Frost. Sky Sports' Nick Collins is also believed to be a fan of the Kent club and has been spotted at their games.

Good memories against them?
Southend United wins: 38
Draws: 26
Gillingham wins: 42

The two sides first met way back in 1921 – do we have any supporters who went to the game at Gillingham? The Gills have the upper hand overall, but the last six meetings have seen two draws, two Blues wins and two wins for the Kent side. We haven't taken on each other since 2013, which the Gills won 1-0 at Roots Hall

What are the odds on that?
Gillingham are priced at 14/1 with Sky Bet to earn promotion from Sky Bet League 1 in 2015-16.

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