Sport

When the Olympic dart strikes through the heart

by The What's On blog, with Chris Price Thursday, July 26 2012

I thought I’d been there, done it, and bought the t-shirt.

My Olympic Torch Relay party at my flat on Friday went without a hitch as the flame which began burning on Mount Olympus passed through Gravesend on its way to the London 2012 Games.

A dozen or so cups of tea were made for family and friends, who piled in to my flat at the normally highly unsociable hour of 9am, ready to claim our spot on Saddington Street in plenty of time, to see the procession pass in and out of the Gurdwara.

We got two bites of the cherry and barely had to walk any distance at all to see such a momentous occasion in British sporting history.

Job done I thought. I’d taken a couple of pictures, waved and cheered like I was at a football match (everyone was doing it so I felt ok) and even seen the torch bearer trip on a sleeping policeman – although thankfully he had kept his balance.

Yet none of that compared to the excitement when Julia Chilcott from Maidstone came into the office for an interview with my colleagues at kmfm about her torch bearing experience.

Julia carried the flame into Leeds Castle and lit the cauldron at the end of Thursday’s run from Deal to the county town.

She walked in almost hugging the golden beacon and its appearance quickly gained more attention than when a newborn baby is brought into the office.

I’d tried to play it cool and watch from afar as colleagues gathered around the torch but before I knew it, I was up there like a wide-eyed schoolboy asking for my picture to be taken with the little piece of history.

As with every torchbearer I’ve met or read about, Julia was delighted to tell everyone her story and more than willing for everyone to get their moment with her treasured possession.

More than seeing the flame, more than cheering and even more than my faultless Olympic Torch Relay party (honest!), this was the moment when the cupid of the Olympic Games drew his arrow and fired it straight through my heart.

There’s a magic to how the torch relay brought everyone in the county together and how it has demonstrated so simply the power of sport.

Boy I cannot wait for the Games now.

  • For daily updates on what is going on at the Olympic Park, follow our man Alex Hoad’s blog. He will be following Kent athletes’ performances throughout the Games. You can follow him on Twitter @KentOnline2012.

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The Opening Ceremony on Friday, July 27 will be too big to watch in your normal, comfy armchair in your uninspiring living room (oh, that’s just me then.)

A large open-air screen will be at Rochester Castle Gardens showing the event live from the Olympic Stadium for free.

A similar big screen will show the ceremony at Gravesend Community Square. Then after watching the spectacular coordinated by film director Danny Boyle – the man behind Slumdog Millionaire – party into the night at a silent disco on the upper Community Square. Tickets are £8 from the Woodville on 01474 337774.

The ceremony will also be shown on the big screen in Dover’s Market Square from 9pm for free, with a Zumbathon getting the atmosphere going from 7pm to 8pm.

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Categories: Entertainment | Gravesend | kmfm | Media | Medway | Olympics | Rochester | Sport | TV

England line up compulsive viewing for Gills fans

by The Gills Blog, with Luke Cawdell Tuesday, March 22 2011

Gillingham fans will have more reason than normal to tune in for England’s European Championship qualifier against Wales on Saturday.

The call-up of former Gills youngster Matt Jarvis to Fabio Capello’s England team has been a hot topic this week, and with Gillingham’s game at Cheltenham taking place on Sunday, there could be a bumper audience from Kent watching the match.

Not only could there be a full international debut for Jarvis but another Gills product, Andrew Crofts, will also be involved after winning a regular place back in the Wales set-up.

Both players may have to settle for a place on the bench but an appearance from either will be warmly received in Kent.

And if the Gills did their haggling wisely when Jarvis departed for Wolves there could be some money in it as well. The fee wasn’t disclosed at the time, when Jarvis moved on, although speculation puts it at around £600,000 and the Gills did pocket some cash when Wolves were promoted to the Premier League.

Shortly before the Gills negotiated a settlement for Jarvis in the summer of 2007, chairman Paul Scally declared, "I believe he’ll play for England within the next three or four years."

His vision could be proved correct.

Jarvis at the time was heading for the Championship and soon made a name for himself with the club, helping them to achieve promotion to the top flight in 2009.

Gillingham fans will remember the many times Jarvis had them off their seat, while bombing down the left flank, sending numerous full-backs into meltdown.

There were times when the final ball or shot lacked quality but others when he raised the roof by finishing off a burst of speed with a goal. With quality coaching he has developed what was obvious raw quality into a polished Premier League performer.

I just can’t understand why he wasn’t called up sooner. England have been crying out for a decent left sided player - a proper winger - with natural pace for as long as I can remember.

Jarvis quickly established himself in the Premier League and there is no reason why he can’t do the same at international level. Let’s hope that is the case.

Gills boss Andy Hessenthaler recently said their current academy player Ashley Miller is showing more promise than Jarvis did in his youth so at least it looks as though the production line at Priestfield is still fit and well.

 

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Categories: Gillingham | Gillingham FC | Gills | Sport

Q&A is a winner

by The Gills Blog, with Luke Cawdell Tuesday, March 15 2011

MONDAY night was a first for us at the KM Group as we decided to try out a live question and answer session on the internet with Gillingham manager Andy Hessenthaler.
I know we have been running regular Monday afternoon sessions with myself and Gillingham fans, but on Monday we set a new first, by giving people the chance to ask Hessenthaler questions directly over the internet.
We have been experimenting for some time with the different opportunities that the internet and social media has given us and it’s great to see a large section of Gillingham fans getting on board.
I’ve sat in the Great Hall at Priestfield several times where fans get the chance to grill the club’s hierarchy and it has always proved a popular draw.
So why not try the idea out on the internet?
It didn’t take much persuading for Andy Hessenthaler to agree to take part, even if it meant he had to give up an evening of his own time to join us at our office in Strood.
He seemed more than happy to liaise with supporters and didn’t seem to mind that nobody bothered offering him a drink! All he got was a couple of tic-tacs, but it didn’t seem to hinder the night.
While Hess asked assistant Ian Hendon to cover his scouting duties he came to face a huge number of questions from Gills fans on the internet. Almost 250 came in by the end of the evening.
All credit to Andy for taking any questions thrown at him. His responses were revealing, honest and insightful. It’s just a shame we only had an hour as by the amount of interest and questions coming our way we could have been there all night!
For us it was also a good opportunity to listen to Andy’s thought on a wide variety of subjects, something we don’t often get chance to explore.
If you’ve seen the Q&A session feel free to send any comments, good or bad. The more feedback the better.

On another matter, we’ve got a new columnist appearing this week in the Medway Messenger newspaper.
Mark Bentley’s decision to join Cambridge United on loan meant we had to bring someone in on loan ourselves to replace Benno’s Beat.
Taking over the role is Nicky Southall and his debut column, “Trigger’s Tales” (that was his choice) will be with us shortly!

Age is proving no burden for Lawrence

by The Gills Blog, with Luke Cawdell Tuesday, March 8 2011

Gillingham fans are growing used to the sight of players in their latter years excelling at Priestfield.

Nobody will be able to touch current boss Andy Hessenthaler for stature around these parts, and he has only recently hung his boots up, but the man currently impressing significantly is central defender Matt Lawrence.

With the Gills struggling for defensive cover at the start of the season, Hessenthaler plumped for a player with vast experience, and one who had just helped Crystal Palace survive for another season in the Championship.

Lawrence joined up with the Gills for their trip to Hereford and after briefly assisting with the right-back duties he’s now settled in nicely to the centre of defence.

At the end of February in Shrewsbury Lawrence made his 600th appearance and it was another typical no-nonsense show from the centre back.

He’s been putting in man-of-the-match performance on a regular basis now and at 36 there seems to be plenty of life in those legs just yet.

Apparently he has an extra day off training to keep in prime condition and he’ll have no better person to show him the way to go than Hessenthaler.

Hess was still tearing around for the Gills after turning 40 and surely Lawrence has done enough now to earn himself an extended stay at Priestfield. Those watching Dover even saw a 40+ Hessenthaler in action.

Lawrence is apparently on an apperance based contract, meaning a second season should automatically kick in at some point, having already played over 30 times this season. I’m sure few people will be grumbling at seeing Lawrence with the Gills for another year.

Now he is forming a formidable partnership with Garry Richards where does that leave the likes of Simon King, Josh Gowling and Tony Sinclair?

There is a rich depth of quality in the Gills back line, something that hasn’t always been the case, but who to choose?

Lawrence and Richards are coming along nicely as a partnership and both Gowling and Sinclair are going to struggle to get a look-in at the moment. King, meanwhile, is just returning from a hamstring injury and even he won’t be able to just walk back into the team.

If all five of those defenders are fit and ready should you be looking at past performances or current form? Pity the likes of youngsters Callum Davies and Connor Essam who are trying to forge their way into the first team.

At least they have a quality role-model in Lawrence.

It takes something at Lawrence’s age to still be keeping up in the modern game and he could be well on the way to 700 appearances by the time he hangs up his boots.

When he first signed for the Gills he insisted: "I’m not going to say I’ll play until I’m 40 but I have another couple of years left in me."

He may not have King’s looks, Gowling’s cool or Richards’ physique but Lawrence has so much more in his head that he could keep any of them out of the team when playing to his full potential, even in his latter years.

In this form Lawrence is certainly showing the age is not the be all and end all and that he’s more than capable of battling it out with the best at this level.

I read comments this week from fans suggesting he could challenge for the player-of-the-year crown. It will take some doing if McDonald can start finding the net again soon, but defending is as important as scoring, and he’s proved to be a key man for the Gills this season.

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Categories: Gillingham | Gillingham FC | Gills | Sport

Crofts' return to prominence is sucker-punch for Gills

by The Gills Blog, with Luke Cawdell Tuesday, March 1 2011

 

Football is a game of opinions but it seems that one man’s decision has proved costly for Gillingham.

In January 2005 Andrew Crofts celebrated sealing a new three and a half year deal by scoring the winner against Plymouth in the Championship.

Four years later and the midfielder was playing Conference football for Wrexham after then manager Mark Stimson decided he wasn’t the man for him.

A player who was at one time rated to be the next big thing, and seemingly due to follow Matt Jarvis up the football pyramid, was ousted from the club never to kick a ball again for the team who he grew up with.

It hasn’t taken Crofts long to prove what a mistake that was - and what a costly one it has become for the Gills.

Crofts was born and raised in the Medway Towns and as a schoolboy played for Chelsea before settling into Gillingham’s academy.

At 16 he made his Gills debut and quickly started to become a much-loved figure in the squad.

Stan Ternent’s decision to hand him a contract extension in 2005 came on the back of some great performances. It was also security for the club, as they knew some big teams were starting to take interest in the youngster.

Ronnie Jepson, the man to step into the manager’s hot-seat following Neale Cooper’s brief and unsuccessful reign, was a big fan of Crofts and installed him as captain.

The arrival of Stimson in November 2007 was the beginning of the end for Crofts and Gillingham.

It is true that the player’s form dipped as the Gills sank into League 2, but Stimson’;s decision to strip him of the captaincy while the player was away on international duty with Wales in October 2008, was the final nail in Crofts’ Gillingham coffin.

Stimson’s comment that Crofts “was not too happy” was clearly an understatement.

Jepson had once labelled Crofts as “Mr Gillingham” but the player’s dedication to the cause was being questioned and that must have hurt a player who since his boyhood had given his all for the club.

Crofts was transfer listed and sent out on loan to Peterborough. He returned briefly before linking up with Wales assistant manager Dean Saunders at non-league Wrexham.

It was the start of the comeback for Crofts.

In the summer he was snapped up by League 1 Brighton, then managed by Russell Slade. Crofts became a regular in the side and when Gus Poyet was appointed manager he made him a key member of the side, eventually making him captain.

In May last year he moved to Norwich for a reputed £300,000 and on Saturday proved what a class act he is.

He scored both Norwich goals in the win against Barnsley, with the second a superb volley from the edge of the area, and is earning rave reviews once more at Championship level. A chance in the Premiership one day, with Norwich or someone else, surely isn’t out of the question.

I wonder what Crofts is worth now. A million pounds?

So what would Mr Stimson be making of it all? Perhaps he made up for it in the money made on Simeon Jackson - ironically now Crofts’ team mate at Norwich. You win some, you lose some.

On this occasion it’s been  a massive loss for Gillingham.

*What have you made of Crofts' return to glory? Add your comment below.

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Categories: Football | Gillingham | Gillingham FC | Gills | Sport

Far from the Champions League it's still a pricey business following football

by The Gills Blog, with Luke Cawdell Tuesday, February 22 2011

Gillingham fans at Swindon in 2008THE lack of visiting fans at Priestfield on Saturday highlighted a few problems afflicting football at all ends of the spectrum.

Bury are one of the lowest supported clubs in the league, obviously not helped by their geographical location, meaning the lure of the Manchester clubs is just too much for some.

They brought just 146 fans to Kent this weekend but is it any surprise when you look at the expenses that go into following even the lowest league clubs?

For their fans it cost £23 for a ticket on the gate and then another £25 for coach travel. That’s a heck of a dent in someone’s wallet to do a 500-mile round trip to sit in the rain.

Thankfully someone this week sensibly took the decision to house the small contingent of Bury fans in the Gordon Road stand, rather than leaving them out in the wet behind the goal.

Is it realistic to be expecting people to shell out in excess of £50 to watch League 2 football?

This week ticket pricing was thrust into the spotlight with the astronomical admission charges being asked for fans to buy tickets for the Champions League final, which takes place at Wembley on May 28.

A certain amount of tickets are being reserved for fans of the two teams making the final, with the cheapest category being £80 (they won’t be around for long), but for the rest it’s going to cost a fortune.

General sale tickets are being sold at £176 (with a £26 admin fee) but look around and you’ll see these prices aren’t going to last. On Tuesday morning there were tickets on sale at championsleagueticketservice.com at between £1,490 and £2,490. Best to shop around though as worldticketshop.com had them for a bargain £841.91!

For League 2 fans it might not be so bad, but following your team on a weekly basis is still for only those with cash to burn, or the foolhardy.

The Gills face two away games in the coming days, at Shrewsbury and Aldershot, and with terrace tickets and coach travel they’ll be looking at £72 before they even thinking about hitting the burger bar or the pub.

The last time I bought a hot dog, at Lincoln’s Sincil Bank, it cost the best part of £5! It is certainly not a poor man’s game.

At least this week’s prices for the League 2 play-off final are, in comparison to spiralling football costs elsewhere, pretty reasonable.

The Football League have held their 2008 prices with category 5 pricing at £26 for adults, rising to £56 for the top priced tickets.

Just a shame the game is in Manchester - thanks to the decision to oust the play-offs to the north because of the Champions League.

I imagine that’s going to put a few fans off if the Gills make it through to the final.

Gillingham are one of the most expensive clubs to visit in League 2 for both home and away supporters. The low gates are sure to hit the Gills in the pocket this year, with visits from Bury and the like being a complete contrast to huge followings from Leeds and Southampton last season.

This season’s average attendance is around the 5,000 mark, dropping significantly on the 6,335 average from last season. It must make a big impact on the finances.

Pricing needs to be looked at across football before the working man is priced out completely. It’s already been happening for years and those prices for the Champions League show just how greedy and ludicrous football is becoming.

 

 

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Categories: Football | Gillingham | Gillingham FC | Medway | Sport

Does the FA Cup need a facelift?

by The Gills Blog, with Luke Cawdell Tuesday, February 15 2011

 

APPARENTLY the FA Cup needs a revamp.

A think-tank in the Football Association have been looking at ways to glam up the competition in a bid to boost attendances.

But is the cup really dying on its knees as some would have us believe?

Gillingham fans enjoy the FA Cup game against Aston Villa at Priestfield

Yes attendances have dropped slightly, but on average the great competition is still drawing in the crowds, and this season there seems to have been no shortage of headline-grabbing ties.

None more so than the one in the next round which pits non-league Crawley with 11-time winners Manchester United.

Last season’s average gate in the competition was 12,480, down by around 500 on the year before. But in a time when jobs are being slashed and wages cut is it any surprise the attendances are dropped?

Perhaps if clubs offered more incentives and cheaper prices for FA cup matches they would entice those extra people in through the turnstiles.

Rumours have emerged this week of a few ideas that have been bounced around in the FA H.Q, some which tear into the heart of what many believe to be the greatest cup competition in the world.

The seeding of teams would increase the likelihood of a big team vs. little team match-up, replays could be scrapped (taking away what for some clubs can be money-spinning ties), matches could be played midweek and the final moved to an early-evening kick-off, instead of the traditional 3pm.

If the FA think these plans will increase the excitement of the FA Cup they are living in cloud cookoo land.

For the smaller clubs the FA Cup can be a financial lifeline, just ask Kent League side Hythe Town what is means to them to make it into the first round proper. They have enough cash in the bank now to really push on as a club.

Crawley Town, who aren’t short of a few quid anyway, will travel to Old Trafford for a match that encapsulates the whole idea of the competition.

What gets me is what is so wrong with the competition anyway?

Yes, perhaps there were a few absent fans at Wolves and Bolton in the last round (not helped by less-than-glamorous opposition in Doncaster and Wigan respectively), but on the flip side look at Arsenal.

There was a full house at Highbury as there has been across many grounds in the country.

 The biggest problem is keeping Arsene Wenger and co interested in the competition when they are chasing League and Champions League honours. The competition’s integrity can only be kept if they are made to field competitive teams. We don’t want to see the competition devalued to the extent of the League Cup, which is treated by many top teams as a reserve outing.

Fans will fall away if they are expected to pay top prices for watching the club’s second string players.

Gillingham may have had an FA Cup campaign to forget this season, but the Blues fans certainly won’t want to see this competition devalued by any quick-fix ideas from those in power.

Over 10,000 crammed into Priestfield to watch them give Aston Villa a scare recently and the club’s record attendance of 23,002 against QPR in 1948 was in the FA Cup.

The FA should consider the current financial woes of the average football fan and encourage more teams to offer incentives to fill up their grounds in the short-term, and when we all have a few more quid in our pocket, we will then have a decent competition to keep supporting, instead of one with could be turned into a second-rate event.

Clubs also need to play their part and listen to the fans. The FA Cup is cherished by the majority and the top clubs have a big responsibility to keep it alive. It’s in their hands as much as the FA’s.

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Categories: Football | Gillingham | Sport | FA Cup | Gillingham FC

There was no scrimping when it came to winning the Ashes!

by The Business Blog, with Trevor Sturgess Friday, January 7 2011

Overjoyed at the Ashes triumph in Australia. 3-1 sounds sweet to someone who has often been on the wrong side of Aussie taunts.

This was a sporting victory but it offers many lessons for business and other organisations. I was lucky enough to meet some of the squad on the eve of their departure Down Under, thanks to an invitation to Lord’s from Clydesdale Bank.

Team spirit was evident then, although there was no expectation of an easy ride in Australia.

While many were confident of ultimate victory, they were aware that Australia would always be a dangerous opponent on home soil and they faced a tough battle. The margin of their victory says a lot about proper preparation and planning.

The key was putting the right people in the right roles. Hiring Andy Flower was a masterstroke. He was the meticulous planner and someone able to spot talent and develop it. A mixture of chief executive, head of training and HR manager.

A team of specialist coaches was taken on to work on all areas of the game, not just a player’s specialism - the training department. Money was invested wisely in the right people, the right facilities, and the right training.

There was no scrimping on investment considered essential to achieve the end goal, but it was not splashed ostentaciously in a football-style fashion that so often produces little by way of achievement. Then came on-field leadership.

Kevin Pietersen might have been a star player but, like Ian Botham in an earlier era, he did not have the right personality to be an effective leader. Andrew Strauss was the thoughtful, articulate, clever, slightly cautious person that many organisations need, but often overlook in favour of a more flamboyant character.

That leadership earned respect, essential to any successful organisation. There was also empowerment of players to fulfill their potential and reach standards that perhaps even they did not believe they could attain. They developed a bond and team spirit that obviously strengthened with success.

There was effective but not over-the-top media relations. That avoided building up false hopes or angering the opposition. And then came customer support from the Barmy Army and others.

Hundreds of thousands wanted to buy their “product.” The total package weakened the competition which had not been as meticulous in its preparation, preferring perhaps to rely on past history and expectation of the natural order of things. Complacency was also involved, as well as uncertainty in the HR department over getting the right people in the right jobs.

Too much chopping and changing and a lack of strategic direction cost them dearly. Finally, the players demonstrated patriotism and love of country that propelled them to new heights and enabled them to bounce back from setbacks. This was a triumph many years in the planning and shows what any organisation can achieve with similar strategies.

Would that England football heeded the lessons. The next challenge, as with every organization, is to maintain and improve the level of performance. Who would bet against England winning the team award at the BBC Personality of the Year Awards in December and Alastair Cook the individual award?

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Categories: Business | Sport

Russia had a good World Cup claim, but I worry...

by The Business Blog, with Trevor Sturgess Friday, December 3 2010

I was not particularly bothered whether or not the World Cup came to England in 2018...

It seemed unlikely anyway given that we already have the Olympic Games in 2012, and the Rugby World Cup in 2015.

The thought of wall-to-wall football chatter for the next eight years, to the exclusion of marvellous other sports like cricket, was daunting...

But it’s a shame for new generations that did not enjoy the miracle of 1966 when Bobby Moore’s England galvanised a nation and became instant legends after lifting the Jules Rimet Trophy. It was great to be alive then and to see that memorable final first hand, albeit on a tiny black and white television.

And I’m seriously bothered about two other things - business and the voting process.

Firms stood to gain substantial extra revenue from the 2018 event, the lead-up and the legacy. Businesses in certain sectors are doing well out of the Olympics and although there would have been less construction work with the World Cup in England, there would have been huge opportunities for service operations.

Sadly, that opportunity has gone, unless British companies can line up deals in Russia. There should be some lucrative construction contracts to be had – if they are open to foreign firms, which I rather doubt. There may be more success in Qatar.

Russia had a good claim, but I worry that the country’s environment will suffer with the explosion of infrastructure and stadium construction. Russia does not do green very well and there have been allegations of environmental damage around the site of the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014.

As for the election process, it stinks, with the whiff of shady deals filling that Zurich auditorium. Russian president Putin surely did not turn up to press the flesh like Prince William, the PM and Becks because he’d been tipped off that his nation had won. A shame that our high-powered three lions wasted their time, duped by a cabal of FIFA delegates who told them what they wanted to hear.

For Putin, far better to arrive as the conquering hero than stoop to the demeaning role of cosying up to Blatter and Co in the last few hours. The deal was done and dusted months earlier.

Mr Chelsea would have seen to that. Russians are not averse to persuasive techniques, and the same could go for the ludicrous choice of Qatar, a tiny Gulf state with blisteringly hot summer temperatures.

Pity the poor immigrant construction workers who will be needed on sites that may not fulfil the health and safety standards we take for granted. Both countries also have cash riches in common which they are prepared to spread around liberally. FIFA needs investigation – the latest decisions prove the point - and radical transformation.

The British media rightly probed its probity. Things happen to journalists who do the same in Russia so FIFA will not have to worry about that.

Just as it is impossible for the UK to win the Eurovision Song Contest since the Eastern European hijack, so it will be impossible to win the World Cup under the present FIFA regime. The forces against us are too great and it’s not in our nature to get down and dirty.

So today’s hostile media coverage is not merely sour grapes, more a suspicion that we have been hoodwinked by a secret club and countries that are prepared to get down and dirty.

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Categories: Business | Sport

Time to forgive?

by The Gills Blog, with Luke Cawdell Monday, October 25 2010

Eighty-two balls in the hat for the FA Cup draw but it always seemed destined that Gillingham would be paired with Dover.

I’m sure Andy Hessenthaler and co had hoped Dover fans would have forgotten what happened in the summer and moved on.

But it appears not.

Dover need no incentive now on Tuesday night to win their FA Cup replay against Farnborough and set up what will be a cracking first round tie at Gillingham.

Whites fans will be hoping Martin Hayes and his team can dish out a bit of revenge after Hessenthaler left Crabble to return to Priestfield.

I don’t think anyone can really blame Hess for leaving, but what appears to still rankle with them is what happened afterwards, particularly the decision of Ian Hendon to leave just weeks after "joining" them as manager.

The problem is that Hendon never signed a deal (despite sitting with Whites chairman Jim Parmenter with pen in hand at a press conference to unveil him as manager!) and weeks later hot-footed it over to Priestfield to link up with Hessenthaler.

Nicky Southall followed and so did Darren Hare but who can blame them?

Dover are a great club and going places but as a professional you’ve got to aim high. Hessy did a good job at Dover and deserved another crack at the Gills job so why the hysteria?

Most managers have a team of trusted people that they keep close to them and that is no different than Hessenthaler. He and Hendon have been close since their Barnet days, and probably before that. Football can be a murky world and so it’s best to have people you can rely on close at hand.

It was a messy situation in the summer without a doubt but, like the Dover chairman said this week, it’s all worked out well in the end and Martin is doing the business so far at Crabble.

I’m sure that if Dover get through to play the Gills those Whites fans will be quick to attack Hess and co, but should they? I don’t think so.

Someone called me naive previously for saying such a thing but that’s football. We all have differing opinions.

I can’t see what is wrong with having ambition in the game and moving onwards and upwards. All Ian Hendon did was weight up his options and choose Gillingham. How it ever got to the stage where there was a press conference to announce him as manager before a deal had been signed is for others to answer.

Good luck to Dover on Tuesday, it’s great to have so much Kent involvement in the cup and congrats to Scott Porter and his Hythe team for making it this far.

Roll on November 6.

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Categories: Gillingham | Gills | Sport

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