Former Liverpool, West Ham and Fulham defender becomes latest summer signing
Gillingham have today made their seventh signing ahead of the 2016/17 EFL League One season, with the arrival of experienced left-back Paul Konchesky on a one-year deal.
The Barking-born defender, who was capped twice for England, has made over 500 professional appearances during a career which spans 19 years.
“I can’t wait to get started,” he said. “It’s been a quick turnaround, so I’m looking forward to meeting the boys and hopefully playing a big part in a good season for the club.
“Since I first spoke to the manager, I knew it could be a good place for me to play, and I want to go places with this club.
“Team spirit is key at any club, if the boys are together they can go a long way, and I think there’s a good dressing room spirit here.”
Konchesky, 35, became Charlton Athletic’s youngest-ever debutant when he played against Oxford United in August 1997 aged 16 years and 93 days. Following a loan spell at Tottenham Hotspur, Konchesky left The Valley for West Ham in a £1.5m transfer in July 2005.
He scored in the Hammers’ FA Cup Final defeat to Liverpool in May 2006, before joining their Premier League rivals Fulham 14 months later. Konchesky started 122 games during his three years at Craven Cottage, including the UEFA Cup Final in 2010.
Future England manager Roy Hodgson signed him for Liverpool in August 2010, and he went on to make 18 appearances for the famous Merseyside club. Following a loan spell with Nottingham Forest between January and April 2011, Konchesky joined then Championship club Leicester City, and played in their second tier title-winning team of 2013/14.
Most recently, he made 34 appearances for Championship side QPR during a loan spell last season.
“His CV speaks for itself, so this is a signing that shows our intensions for the season,” said manager Justin Edinburgh. “We recongised we were short of experience in the dressing room last season, and from meeting him over the past few days, it’s clear he has a burning desire to continue to keep on achieving big objectives and not let his career fade out.
“This made me really push the signing through, and once again I’d like to thank the chairman for his support.”
An exclusive interview with Konchesky will be on GillsPlayer shortly.