Cody McDonald delighted to seal permanent move

Gills returning striker Cody McDonald says he is thrilled to have re-joined the club on a permanent deal.

McDonald, who has previously enjoyed two loan spells at Priestfield, has signed a two-year contract and has now travelled to France to team up with the rest of the squad during their training camp in Le Touquet.

Speaking exclusively to the club’s official website he said:

“We managed to get a deal sorted on a permanent this time which is great news for me to come back and not having to worry about getting recalled, but I’m looking forward to joining up with the lads and I’m excited about next season.

“The Chairman has been great, the fans have shown faith in me and I’ve got a good relationship with them. The lads are a great bunch and it’s nice to live at home aswell.

“There were a few options but as soon as I knew this one was available it was my preferred choice and thankfully we got everything done.

“I haven’t got to worry about going back to another club, ideally I would have liked to have seen out last season but it wasn’t to be, but now I’m here for two years so you’ve got to put up with me!”

McDonald’s return sees him teaming up with another former Gills forward in Bayo Akinfenwa, a partnership which produced 36 goals during the 2010/11 campaign.

Although he is looking forward to re-igniting their understanding, he says he does not expect to be starting every game with the level of competition at the club.

He added: “That season I played my best football and we built a good partnership and it will be nice to be able to do it again but obviously there are other lads here aswell.

“It doesn’t mean that just me and Akinfenwa will play because the competition for places here is tough and it’s up to each player individually to cement a place in the team and that’s what I’ll be doing for the next three weeks in build up to the season.”

Cody says knowing many of the players from his spell last season was a contributory factor behind his decision, and he feels the team ethic that has been built will help the club move forward in League One.

He said: “It makes it easier; it can be daunting when you sign for a new team and don’t know anyone so thankfully that spell last year has helped me out this time.

“They are a great bunch and will do anything for each other as you can see on the pitch with the way they work for each other, it’s a great squad and the Manager has brought some new faces in and it gives us the opportunity to go and challenge next season, which I think we have a great chance of doing.

“The club can keep going, we showed last season what we can do and to win the league as emphatically as we did shows what we are about and I’m sure the Manager won’t accept anything less than aiming to do it again.

“If you’re not aiming for that then why would you turn up every week?”

The former Norwich player says he will be working hard on his fitness in the coming weeks as the opening game of the season against Colchester quickly approaches.

He added: “By all accounts it won’t be the easiest of trips but we’ve had a good two months off and it will be good to get back with the lads.

"It will be tough but you get your rewards out of it, I can’t wait.

“I feel OK but I’ll be able to get fitter in the next few weeks and I’m buzzing – my family is happy and I’m sure the fans will show their support on the opening day as they always do.

“We won’t take them [Colchester] for granted, we won’t just turn up and walk away with it because that’s not the case in this league.

“We’ll definitely be challenging though this season.”

To watch Cody’s exclusive interview on player click here.