Stephen Clemence is keen to get going after being appointed the club's new First-Team Head Coach.
The recently-appointed First Team Head Coach Stephen Clemence says he is determined to bring a bold new era to Priestfield that will create fond footballing memories for supporters to look back on in years to come.
The former Premier League midfielder, who has already built an impressive coaching CV, believes ME7 is the perfect platform to start his managerial career.
“The supporters want a team they are proud of and that is what I will try and give them,” he said. “I am absolutely delighted, I need to thank Brad for giving me this opportunity. It’s a wonderful football club with a strong history and I just can’t wait to get started and get out on the grass with the players.
“I think we have some really good players, I have watched a lot from Gillingham over this season and I saw a bit from them last season as well. I think the structure is really good and it is a help to someone like myself with Kenny being here. He is someone that I will really lean on, he has done so much in the game, I’d be stupid if I didn’t.
“I think we can be successful because there is a good group of players here. We need to make improvements, we know we need to score more goals and we know we need to have more control of the football, but I have got some ideas to help us with that and I am looking forward to getting started on them.
“I am very hands-on and I like to be involved. I like to try and improve people on the grass and off the pitch as well. There are behaviours I like in players, and as a player myself there is one thing I did, give 110 percent. I took that into my coaching career and I now intend to take it into my head coaching career. I demand that same 110 percent from my players. There has to be a commitment, which I think these boys have got, and that is a good starting point.”
Clemence confirmed that he will be in the dugout on Saturday when the Gills take on Hereford in the FA Cup, and he is keen to kick-off his reign with a win.
“We have an FA Cup game coming up at the weekend and I am going to be in the dugout for that,” he said. “I am already looking at Hereford and how we are going to beat them. We know it will be a tough game and they will want to beat an EFL team and cause a shock, so we have to be ready and it should be one the boys are looking forward to.”
Despite only just getting his feet under the manager’s table, Clemence already has plans to see what talent is waiting in the wings.
“Having a B Team is vitally important,” he said. “Everyone has to start somewhere and everyone needs a chance. They have to be good enough to get a chance and when they do, they have to take it. It’s a tough industry to get into as a young player but the club are doing things right. I will get to watch them soon and see what we have in the building.”
Clemence will be assisted by Robbie Stockdale, and the former Middlesborough and Scottish international defender brings with him knowledge accumulated from coaching Grimsby and Sunderland as well managing at Rochdale.
“I played against Robbie Stockdale back in the day,” reminisced Clemence. “We did our pro licences together and I know he is a good coach and a good person with good experience of the lower leagues. I admire and respect him and I am happy to have him on our team.”
Stephen is the son of former world-class goalkeeper Ray Clemence and Gills’ new boss has had opportunities to soak in a lot of knowledge throughout his life in football. As well as picking up a lot of useful tips from those around him, he aims to implement a lot of his own concepts too.
“I have been influenced by a lot of people in my career,” he said. “I was born into a footballing family and I have played for some good football teams. I have had some top managers as a player, the likes of Glenn Hoddle and George Graham. I have had a great coaching journey with Steve Bruce and I have learnt so much there.
“I have my own ideas too and I think any manager going into a new job would say they want to play attacking football and I am no different. I want to see fans excited and I want to get bums off seats and see a team who are going to have a go.
“I can’t wait, I am really happy to be here and I promise to give everybody the best effort, which is 110 percent all the time. I will be giving my all to give supporters a team they can be proud of.
“I wouldn’t have come into the job if I didn’t think we could have a go and try and make some memories for people at this place. We want to make some memories that people are going to enjoy and remember.”