News on some former Gillingham playersThis week has seen the return of striker Adebayo Akinfenwa to MEMS Priestfield Stadium following his release by Northampton Town, meanwhile a few other former players have also been on the move…
Jim Stannard, Gillingham’s record-breaking former goalkeeper, has joined manager Dean Holdsworth’s backroom staff at Conference South club Chelmsford City as goalkeeping coach.
Up until the January arrival of a new boss on the South Coast he was performing the same role at Premier League Southampton.
Stannard played for Ford United, Fulham, Southend United (loan) and Charlton Athletic (loan) before returning to Roots Hall on a permanent basis in 1985.
Then came an eight-year spell back at Fulham where he made nearly 350 appearances and even scored one goal, against Crewe Alexandra at Gresty Road.
It was in July 1995 he signed for Gillingham and he played a major part in the clubs promotion in his first season.
He was an ever-present member of the team that conceded just 20 goals that season, a record for the lowest number of goals conceded in a 46-match Football League season. He also equalled another Football League record with his 29 clean sheets.
That was not the end of his superb campaign though, he was elected into the PFA‘s Divisional team of the season and unsurprisingly voted Player of the Year by the Gillingham supporters.
Having made 126 appearances Jim was forced to retire in October 1999 due to a knee injury.
He has since served as goalkeeping coach at a number of club’s AFC Hornchurch, Leyton Orient, Brentford, Crystal Palace, Southampton and twice back here at Priestfield.
Midfielder Danny Spiller, now 31, has had his contract at Luton Town terminated with immediate effect. He has been beset with a long-term Achilles injury and has failed to make an appearance for the Hatters since arriving at Kenilworth Road last summer.
The others have all been on loan here at Gillingham over the years -
Highly-rated MK Dons defender Tom Flanagan, who made 15 appearances and scoring once while on loan at MEMS Priestfield Stadium last season before injury cut short his spell, has been handed the number four shirt for the forthcoming season by manager Karl Robinson.
Left-back Callum Kennedy, who arrived on loan at Priestfield from Swindon Town at the same time as Charlie Lee and Chris Whelpdale came from Peterborough United, has signed for AFC Wimbledon.
The 24-year-old leaves Scunthorpe United after making 18 appearances last season.
Another full-back, Dale Tonge, who played three times for the Gills at the tail end of the 2006-07 season, has left Rotherham United to Torquay United
Also back in 2006-07 the Gills used no fewer than six different goalkeepers, one of those, Dean Brill, who played eight times, has left Conference Premier Luton Town for Scottish Premier League Inverness Caledonian Thistle on loan until January.