Shaun Williams ready for pre-season after signing Gills deal.
Neil Harris’ summer shake-up is taking momentum and the Gills boss has taken the opportunity of swooping in for former Republic of Ireland international Shaun Williams who he describes as a ‘leader’ with ‘real quality’.
Versatile midfielder Williams, who boasts Championship, UEFA Europa League and international experience, is quick to return the compliment and admits Harris was a huge pull factor when inking his contract at the Gills.
The 35-year-old former Portsmouth and Millwall battler, who offers defensive intelligence and a wealth of experience to the changing room, knows the Gills Gaffer well and enjoyed a successful stint in South London under him, winning promotion to the Championship and reaching the FA Cup quarter-final.
“Neil was a massive factor for joining,” said Williams. “He has had success in the past and hopefully he can again in the future. When Neil took over in January he came in for me and I wanted to come but it didn’t work out due to time constraints. It’s great to finally get it done and I’m really excited to be here.
“He was manager at Millwall for three and a bit seasons and we had a great relationship. I really enjoyed working with him. I like his philosophy and how he builds a team in terms of character and professionalism. I want to be part of that again. I’m looking forward to the opportunity ahead.”
The pre-season slog is about to begin but Williams isn’t daunted by the hard work ahead and is fully focused on getting his Gills career up and running.
“I enjoy the routine of going to training,” he said. “It will be nice to see the lads and start working hard. I’m just looking forward to getting going again. I’m a controlled player and I like to get on the ball. I like to do what I can for the team.
“This league is going to be competitive. Obviously there was the disappointment of relegation for Gillingham last year but hopefully this is a fresh start. This season we are going to have to strive to be the best that we can be and really push on. I’ve played here as an opposition player and I know how difficult and hostile it can be for an away team. To be on the other end of that now with the fans behind us is going to be great.”