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Management Profiles

Full information on the Gills' management team

Steve Evans

Position: Manager

Evans began work at Priestfield on June 1, 2019 having been unveiled as Steve Lovell's replacement.

Evans, whose most recent job was at Peterborough, spent his entire professional playing career in his native Scotland as a striker, however a serious injury forced him to retire at the age of 24.

After leaving the game he returned to Football in 1994, taking over at non-league Stamford who he led to the United Counties Football League Premier Division title before resigning to take over at Boston in 1998.

Two promotions followed (Evans had two spells as Boston manager) prior to agreeing terms to become Crawley’s new manager in the summer of 2007. Once more, the Scot guided a club to the Football League after winning the Conference in his fourth season at Broadfield Stadium.

In April 2012 Evans was appointed the new manager at Rotherham United and two more promotions followed, one from League Two as runners-up to Gillingham during the 2012-13 campaign before winning the League One Play-Off Final against Leyton Orient in 2014. He would remain at the New York Stadium for just over another year before parting company with the club, alongside assistant Paul Raynor.

A month later he took over at Elland Road to replace Uwe Rosler as boss at Leeds United. Steve was there for just seven months but won 14 of his 38 fixtures in all competitions and guided the club to safety in the Championship.

After leaving Leeds in May 2016 Evans stepped away from Football for six months before taking over at Mansfield Town. His spell in League 2 lasted 15 months before resigning his post to take over at Peterborough United, a job he would keep for just under a year before being replaced by Darren Ferguson with the club sitting sixth in Sky Bet League 1.

In total, Evans has won 43.2% of all league fixtures he has taken with all clubs mentioned above.

 

Paul Raynor

Position: Assistant Manager

Paul, 53, arrived at Priestfield in the summer of 2019 to work alongside Steve Evans once again having also worked with the club’s Manager at Peterborough, Mansfield, Rotherham, Crawley and Boston United.

Raynor retired from playing in 2009 having begun his career as a midfielder with Nottingham Forest in 1984. He enjoyed spells at a number of clubs, most notably at Swansea City between 1987 and 1992. Prolonged stints at Preston and Cambridge followed before dropping into non-league prior to his retirement.

Paul had the honour of playing alongside former England Captain David Beckham during his time at Deepdale.

 

Ian Pledger

Position: Goalkeeping Coach

 

Ian returned to MEMS Priestfield Stadium for a second spell as goalkeeping coach in the summer of 2020, following the departure of Simon Royce. "Pledge" had previously worked under both Justin Edinburgh and Ade Pennock and was part of the staff when Tomas Holy signed for the Gills.

He has worked with Stuart Nelson, Tom Hadler, Joe Walsh, Sacha Bastien and Jack Bonham during his time at ME7. He finished his professional playing career with Luton Town.

 

James Russell

Position: Fitness Coach

 

James returned for a second spell as part of the sports science team in February 2018 having initially joined as part of Martin Allen's backroom team in the summer of 2012 and was heavily praised for his role in helping the squad win promotion.

He had worked at Notts County and Rochdale prior to his arrival at MEMS Priestfield Stadium, and moved to Barnet to join Allen when he became Manager at Underhill in 2016. Currently he heads up the Fitness team at ME7 and works closely with Paul Raynor, Steve Evans and the physiotherapy team.

 

Craig Stone

Position: Youth Team Manager

 

Craig took charge of the youth team shortly after the appointment of Steve Evans as first-team manager in June 2019. Having previously worked with the Girls Academy, Stone was promoted to the role where he works alongside both Bryan Bull and Jason Lillis, the Head of Coaching Development.

The 32-year-old, who still plays for Hastings in non-league, played 20 times for Gills first-team, scoring once, between 2005 and 2008. He also had spells with Ebbsfleet and Brentford. In his second full season in the youth team role, Craig guided his squad to the National Final of the Youth Alliance League Cup, finishing as runners-up to Rochdale.

 

Bryan Bull

Position: Academy Manager

Bull has been in charge of Gillingham’s Centre of Excellence, now Academy, since 2008 and in that time has overseen a complete overhaul of the club’s youth system. 

He started coaching at the club back in 2000, and his current role includes responsibility for all the players in the club's development program who are still at school.

During his time at the Gills, the likes of Matthew Jarvis, Andrew Crofts, Luke Freeman and Ryan Bertrand – the latter winning a Champions League medal with Chelsea at the end of the 2011/12 season - have all moved from the Youth Development program onto Premier League clubs.