With only a few weeks to go now until the end of another interesting campaign at the MEMS Priestfield, it is getting to that time where everybody will start to have an opinion on all manner of things.
All of us will think we know best as we try to keep ourselves occupied throughout the summer, waiting for the fixtures to be released and then for the first pre season friendly.
Who should be signed to take us to the next level, and which donkey should be shipped out never to return – everyone will have their own thoughts.
Only one thing that is guaranteed though is the fact that not everyone will agree, and that is why we love the game of football and, more importantly, love Gillingham Football Club.
But before all that though, there is the small matter of who will be the Gills’ Player of the Season for 2014-15.
Another cracking opportunity for people to put across a case for their own personal favourites, and to tell others why theirs surely cannot collect the accolade.
Here at RainhamEndViews we have whittled it down to a short list of five candidates:
Cody McDonald: It has been another stellar season for the Gills’ hit man, culminating in him agreeing to a two year contract extension which sees him stay at the club until at least 2017. An injury on the opening day set him back slightly, but since then he has hardly missed a game. He mustered eight goals before Christmas, which was no mean feat in a struggling side setting up defensively. However, since the departure of Peter Taylor – and also the arrival of fellow striker John Marquis – he has thrived in a side playing more attacking football, firstly under the ‘Gang of Four’ and now Justin Edinburgh. Eight goals in 17 appearances since the turn of the year means he has 16 in 41 this season, and gives him a real chance of breaking the 20 goal barrier.
Another season, another decent goal return for Cody.
Max Ehmer: For all his apparent flaws, now departed gaffer Peter Taylor cannot be faulted when it comes to finding up and coming young talent, and German centre back Ehmer is another example. Arriving on loan from QPR in the autumn, he had to bide his time with John Egan and Leon Legge in front of him, but once his chance arrived boy did he take it. Since the turn of the year Max has played 15 games, and in that period the Gills have only lost three times. His win ratio during that time stands at 40%, and he scored his first goal for the club in the recent home draw with Colchester United. All Gillingham fans will surely hope he can be kept beyond the summer.
Max Ehmer, another example of German efficiency.
John Marquis: Perhaps an outsider for the award considering he only arrived in January, Marquis still fully deserves to be in contention. He arrived at a side staring into the relegation abyss, but fast forward 14 appearances and seven goals and the club is completely different to the one he joined. It may be coincidence, but his boundless energy, enthusiasm and wanting to win seemed to rub off on others as they embarked on a run that included memorable victories over Sheffield United, Peterborough United, MK Dons and Swindon Town. Has also built a seemingly instant rapport with Cody McDonald, and they have twelve league goals between them since John’s arrival. Perhaps the biggest compliment that can be paid to this young man though, is that people haven’t missed a certain Danny Kedwell.
Hands up if you’ve not missed Danny Kedwell.
John Egan: The young Irish centre half has quite simply been impeccable since arriving (more kudos to that man Peter Taylor) on a free transfer in the summer of 2014. You can count the number of games he has missed on one hand, and it is almost impossible to recall him having a bad game. Even during a very tricky autumn, when the side didn’t taste victory between mid September and mid November, he still stood out. His performance away at Bristol City recently, where he continued despite knee and back injuries, shows the courage of the young man, and he has also chipped in with four goals. Another plus is only seven yellow cards in 44 matches means he is rarely, if at all, suspended.
Egan – A future club captain, perhaps.
Bradley Dack: A breakthrough season for the attacking midfielder, who has featured 42 times to date. Bradley has all the tools to make it to the very top, and we are seeing that now that he is operating in his best position. During the first half of the campaign it seemed he was being moved about – or dropped – to merely accommodate others, and only three goals in 25 games up until Christmas wasn’t doing his talent justice. However, since the turn of the year he has operated behind a front two and has flourished. Five strikes in 17 matches is a decent strike rate, and he has laid on plenty more chances for others. Sometimes still a little raw, but a superb campaign for Dack nonetheless.
Great goals and great hair – Dack really does have it all.
So there you have it, our list of five who we think may be crowned Player of the Season.
As we have already mentioned, you may not agree, but we will all enjoy discussing the pros and cons for these and any other potential candidates.