News involving some former Gills players etc

There has been mixed news for a number of former Gillingham players and management during the week including a goalkeeper and four former front-men…

Following the appointment of new manager, 40-year-old Argentine Mauricio Pochettino at Southampton, former Gillingham keeper Jim Stannard has lost his position as goalkeeping coach at the Premier League club.

Stannard played 128 times for the Gills after arriving from Fulham in the summer of 1995 and he recorded a Football League equalling record of 29 clean sheets during his first season as the club gained promotion.

Jim was forced to retire through a knee injury in October 1999 and went on to work as goalkeeping coach at Brentford, Crystal Palace and back here at Priestfield.


An undisclosed fee has seen Millwall’s Darius Henderson agree terms to join Nottingham Forest under new manager Alex McLeish.

The experienced 31-year-old forward, who scored 10 goals in 39 appearances for the Gills from January 2004, has moved to the City Ground initially to the end of the season.

Another to have been relieved of his duties was Dover Athletic manager Nicky Forster who was placed on gardening leave following an emergency board meeting last Friday after the Whites had lost five games on the bounce.

He has quickly been replaced at the Crabble by Chris Kinnear who has returned to the club from Ryman Premier League Margate having previously been in charge there between 1985 and 1995.

This managerial-go-round has seen Nicky Southall, currently boss at Ryman League Division One (South) Whitstable Town, linked with the job at Hartsdown Park.

The former Horley Town striker netted a number of goals for both the Gillingham’s youth and reserve teams following a trial and went on to score 26 goals in 78 appearances for the first-team after signing his first professional deal in May 1992.

Nicky left Priestfield in June 1994 when moving to Brentford in a £320,000 deal.


Meanwhile Marlon King is one of a number of players at Birmingham City who have been told they can leave the Championship club on a free transfer despite having 18 months remaining on his contract at St Andrews.

Blackburn Rovers, Cardiff City and former club Nottingham Forest have all been linked with King who is the Blues top scorer with 13 goals this season.

The 32-year-old striker had scored 32 goals in 116 games for the Gills before leaving for Forest for a fee of £950,000 in 2003.


There is better news for another former Gillingham forward however as Jason Lillis prepares to take his Hurlimann Kent League side Lordswood on their next step towards a place at Wembley Stadium this weekend.

Lillis, manager at Martin Grove since November 2009, who netted seven goals in 38 matches for the Gills back in the Eighties, takes the Medway side up to the North East where they will face Ebac Northern League Spennymoor Town in the re-arranged Fourth Round of the FA Vase on Saturday. The original game at the Brewery Field was postponed last weekend due to a frozen pitch

This is the best run in the club’s history and they have already disposed of Warlingham, Raynes Park Vale, Egham Town, Thame United and Southend Manor en route.

The Lords have some way to go to emulate fellow Kent Leaguers Deal Town who won the competition back in 2000 when they beat Chippenham Town in front of 20,083 at Wembley.

Steve Lovell, a team-mate of Lillis during his time at Priestfield, was in the Deal side that day.

Luke Howell who came through the youth ranks here at Priestfield before making two first-team appearances, both against Nottingham Forest, has signed a new deal at Dagenham & Redbridge.

The 26-year-old combative midfielder joined the East London outfit from MK Dons in August 2011 and he has now committed himself to the Daggers until 2015.


One piece of news that passed us by before Christmas was the promotion of Ian Hendon to first-team coach at West Ham.

The former Gillingham assistant-manager, who had previously been Development Coach at Upton Park, replaced Wally Downes after manager Sam Allardyce had decided that the 51-year-old should leave the Hammers. Downes himself had also coached here at Priestfield under Andy Hessenthaler.


There is news of some of the younger players released by the Gills earlier this month with Frankie Beale, Ollie Lee and Josh Maughan all currently plying their trade in the Ryman League Division One (South).

Defender’s Beale and Lee are playing for Nicky Southall’s Whitstable Town on work experience where another youngster, Jake Mackenzie released from Priestfield in the summer, is already at the Belmont Ground. Meanwhile Maughan has been playing alongside Daren Hawkes and Ashley Miller who have both been on loan at Ramsgate.

Midfielder Frankie Raymond who began the season in the Gills Development squad before joining Blue Square South Eastbourne Borough has penned a deal with the Sussex club until the end of next season.