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Gills clinch signing of Stuart O'Keefe

Steve Evans captures the signature of former Premier League midfielder.

11 June 2019

New recruit joins the ranks at Priestfield.

Gillingham have added to their squad with the capture of Stuart O’Keefe on a two-year deal.

The 28-year-old midfielder, who was released by Cardiff City earlier this month, becomes the club’s fourth summer signing following the arrivals of Connor Ogilvie, Jack Bonham and Lee Hodson.

Stuart began his career in the academy ranks at Southend United and made his debut for the Seasiders in November 2008 as a second half substitute against Telford in the FA Cup.

He joined Crystal Palace in August 2010 and went on to play in the Premier League for The Eagles, scoring in the club’s first game back in the top flight during the 2013/14 season in a 3-1 victory over Sunderland at Selhurst Park. Via a loan stint with Blackpool, he signed for Cardiff in January 2015.

O’Keefe, in search of first team Football, had three loan spells away from Cardiff, playing 14 times for Plymouth Argyle last season. He came on as a second half substitute against the Gills at Home Park in October 2018, a match the hosts won 3-1.

Prior to that, Stuart had a spell at Portsmouth during the 2017/18 campaign where the former Southend trainee netted twice in 27 appearances. He featured against the Gills at Priestfield in the live televised Sky Sports fixture where Pompey emerged 1-0 victors.

A spell at MK Dons preceded his time at Fratton Park; the midfielder making 18 appearances and scoring four times while at stadium:mk. His time at Cardiff City lasted four-and-a-half years where he made a total of 45 appearances and scored two goals.

Upon leaving Wales, Stuart has signed a contract which will keep him at Priestfield until the summer of 2021.

Speaking to the club’s official website Stuart said: “For me Gillingham presents a great opportunity to try and achieve something. Steve Evans is very competitive and has been very successful with Crawley, Rotherham and then at Peterborough.

“I live locally and it presents a chance for me to settle down and concentrate on my Football. I’m now looking forward to meeting my team-mates and enjoying a good pre-season.”

Manager Steve Evans added: “I have been speaking to Stuart for ten days, in fact I spoke to him on my first day in the job and I was delighted, whilst on holiday, to receive a call from the Chairman to say terms had been agreed and it was then up to me to convince him on Football matters.

“He’s an energetic, competitive midfielder who has played in both the Premier League and Championship and we are delighted to have him on board.”


We will have a full video interview with Stuart soon.

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