Gills skipper full of pride after claiming supporters' Player of the Year at Priestfield on Sunday
Gills skipper Adam Barrett said it was a special moment to pick up the supporters’ Player of the Year trophy at the club’s end of season awards at MEMS Priestfield Stadium on Sunday evening.
The ceremony took place in the Great Hall where a three course meal for corporate guests, sponsors and VIP's was followed up with the presenting of a range of various awards, the last of which being handed to Barrett.
The centre-back also claimed the Away Supporters’ Player of the Year, and he spoke to the media shortly after to describe his emotions after a successful first season at the Gills.
He said: “It’s been an unbelievable season. I’m proud and it’s been a privilege to have been a part of it.
“A big thank you to all of the supporters that voted for us, I’ve given everything I have got and I’m just delighted it’s all come good and the main thing is that we won the title.
“To then go and win `Player of the Year` is special to me and these things don’t come about all the time. Let’s bring on League One and see where we go.
“I wear my heart on my sleeve and whether I’m having a bad game or not you know what you’re going to get from me.
“I give 110% and I think they appreciate that and I do appreciate the support they have given us this year. They have been fantastic; they have travelled the length of the country and when times are hard they have really supported us.
“At times there have been 10,000 + and the game against Wimbledon will live with me forever. I’ve played in big games but that was something special to play here in front of a full house and it will be nice to see this place rocking next year and there’s no reason why we can’t give it a real go.
Adam said he knew from the first moment he arrived at the club that there was potential for success, and he believes the squad has what it takes to hold their own in League One.
He said: “When I came down here for talks I came believing we could push for promotion and that was a big pulling power for me. I was hungry, the gaffer was hungry and the staff were geared up in the same frame of mind.
“It was a big incentive and I really believed we could do something. Winning it this comfortably and being as strong as we are no-one thought that but I’m just thankful that everything worked out and we achieved our goal.
“We now kick on again with some good young players and we have nothing to fear going in to the league above. There is nothing there to worry about, with the mentality we have got we will be ready for next year and we are looking forward to it.
“There are some great clubs in there, it will be extremely difficult as it is every season but you have to dig in at times. We will be ready and we will go to those places full of confidence and I don’t think there will be too many people fancying coming down to Gillingham and playing us.
“We are fit, strong and ready for the fight and it doesn’t matter who it is. We don’t fear anyone.”
Barrett says he is encouraged by the progress of some of the youngsters in the squad, and went on to praise Stuart Nelson who claimed the MEMS Player of Year, as well as the Chairman’s Cup for outstanding achievement.
He said: “Callum especially has had a fantastic season and it’s difficult when you’re a young lad to come in and I think he has been tremendous. It takes time but he will get the consistency – Devante has come in and he’s another one for the long term future.
“For the likes of myself that’s brilliant, you want those lads coming through. I feel that I can help them and it keeps you on your toes which is what I wanted. I wanted to come to a place which was hungry and there is a special feeling amongst the club and the supporters.
“Stuart has been superb and I have a lot of time and respect for him. He’s had a tremendous season and I’m delighted that he picked up a couple of trophies, he gives me confidence and hopefully I give him some confidence.
“We have a good understanding and when you have that you’ve got half a chance. I think the defensive record speaks for itself; we went to places and rolled our sleeves up together.
“I could name 25 players; they have all played their part. We will have a good rest now, we are going to celebrate it quite rightly, enjoy the moment and mark my words in pre-season we will be ready to go without a doubt.
“This has been a special year but this isn’t done. It puts fire in the belly and we will be ready to go again. We’ve got young lads coming through like Bradley Dack and many others that we saw Saturday so it’s exciting times and I think we can all go on a special journey together and it’s one we are looking forward to.”
To watch Adam’s interview at the `Player of the Year` evening click here.
To read up on the winners of the other awards click here.