On-loan defender looking forward to season opener.
Zech Medley says he is excited at the prospect of potentially making his Gills debut on Saturday.
The defender, on loan from Arsenal, was raised in Kent and is looking forward to playing for Steve Evans’ side at a venue he used to attend as a child.
He said: “I’m buzzing for it and I can’t wait to get out there. It’s a shame we can’t share it with the fans but I’m sure they will be at home cheering and hopefully, they will be back here as soon as possible.
“I lived here when I was young. I grew up around the Rochester area and went to the Howard School so it’s been strange coming back. I’m ready to get going, I played here in a cup final when I was in year seven so it’s good to be back here.”
Southend were relegated from League One last season and despite now being a division below Medley admits they will still be tough opposition on Saturday.
He said: “Any opposition we face we will respect them and take it to them. We’re ready for the challenge and we won’t underestimate anyone. We will focus on ourselves, show everyone what we can do and do the best that we can.
“In training the level has stepped up again. Having that goal of getting into the next round is something we need to achieve.”
Throughout the summer manager, Steve Evans has revamped the look of his defence giving it a more youthful approach.
Medley is aware that there is not the usual experienced head amongst the back four but believes having worked together in training there is a natural understanding coming together at the back.
He said: “It’s something that we’re working on as a team. We’ve been building a good connection in training and I cannot wait to get that started.”
Medley is joined at the club by another Arsenal loanee Trae Coyle.
The attacker is someone that has received high praise and Medley is confident in his abilities.
He said: “Trae’s a great lad. Obviously he’s come for the experience as well and he’s a very sharp moving player, likes to link up and hopefully, he can offer us some goals and assists too. He’s ready to get going and I’m sure he will deliver too.”