Former Gills captain Andrew Crofts rejoins the club from Brighton & Hove Albion

Gillingham have today re-signed Welsh midfielder Andrew Crofts in a loan deal from Brighton & Hove Albion.

The 31-year-old, who was born in Chatham and made his professional debut for the Gills in May 2001, played the full 90 minutes in Saturday's 1-1 draw against Southend United.

Crofts has signed on-loan until the end of the season, but his parent club have a recall option after 28 days.

“It's a great opportunity to come back,” said Crofts, who yesterday was named in the Wales squad for next weekend's fixtures against Northern Ireland and Ukraine.

“With the European Championships coming up, I think it was important to get games under my belt, and what better club to do it with than my hometown club.

“We've got a great set of boys here, it's a great dressing room, and we played some good stuff today.

“I've always had a real close relationship with the Gills fans, this club has always had a place in my heart, I'm looking forward to giving it everything I've got for them.

“It's my goal to get the Gills promoted, we're among the top teams, we've got nine massive games left.”

Manager Justin Edinburgh described Crofts's arrival as a potentially crucial transfer in the club's promotion push.

“When someone of that quality becomes available, it’s a massive signing of intent. [He's a] real marquee signing,” he said.

“He’s a fantastic player, great quality, well-known by our fans and I thought it was an excellent performance from him today.”

Crofts made nearly 200 appearances for the club in his first spell at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium, and also served as captain during this nine-year period. 

He left at the end of the 2008-2009 season to join Brighton, for whom he is now in his second spell. Sandwiched between this is a 26-month period playing for Norwich City, a club he helped gain promotion to the Premier League in May 2010.