Gills keeper confident current squad can hold their own in League One
Stuart Nelson says the team have no fear of playing in League One next season and says the current squad are more than capable of holding their own in a higher division.
The Gills stopper, who claimed the MEMS Player of the Year and the Chairman’s Cup for outstanding achievement at the end of season awards ceremony on Sunday evening, was delighted to get his hands on his league winners’ medal, and is already planning for the new campaign.
He said: “I’ve been telling everyone that the one we got on the pitch wasn’t the proper one, but I heard nothing for about a week and I thought that maybe it was!
“I was devastated, and then we got up on stage and they said we were getting our winners’ medal and I couldn’t believe it because that’s what it’s been about.
“When I came here it was about getting promotion and getting back to League One where I have played most of my career. To do it in the way we have done it with this set of lads and the Manager it’s been different class.
“It’s been about that medal and I’ve got my hands on it. It wasn’t about me or anyone else, it’s about the team.
“We’ve gone out in the 46 games and done the business, we’ve broken records and this club has only ever won something once. I’ve been at other clubs where they’ve won FA Cups, the European Cup at Aberdeen, Notts County have won the FA Cup and realistically when I played for them they were never going to win those again.
“To be part of this, for me personally, has been one of the most amazing things I have ever done in my life. This squad can hold its own; we proved that against Scunthorpe and Bristol City – we’ve got no fear going in to the league above.
“I don’t expect to be at the bottom of the table on the last day of the season scrapping away, I think we will be right in the mix.
“I’ve got a little trip to Egypt with my wife so that will be a nice break and I’m looking forward to that, and then it’s back to it. I look at the summer as a chance to build on things I can’t do in the season, if you ever stop and put your feet up for too long then someone will take your place.
“It’s no longer players go away, drink for six/seven weeks, come back and then start running. I think we have a game on our first Saturday back in pre-season so you need to come back just as fit as when you’re away, and players do these days.
“I will be training over the summer, I’ll take my two weeks break and reflect on the good times of the season but as soon as I land back at the UK it’s back to it and be ready for League One.”
Stuart says he feels his game has improved due to the fact he relaxes more in matches and so is able to enjoy the experiences more.
He said: “It’s been hard work but it’s been enjoyable, now I’m getting older I can take a step back more even in games and relax.
“People have said to me how relaxed I look in games – it’s made me make better decisions and ultimately enjoy and remember games.
“In the earlier part of my career I couldn’t remember games and it was like another life. Now I take everything in and I can’t wait for Saturdays to come round which I didn’t used to before.”
To watch Stuart’s interview at the `Player of the Year` evening click here.
To watch the Gills number one in every home game in League One next season, then you can purchase your season ticket by clicking the link below.