Here at GillsRelated we love a discussion and a debate as much as the next fan, but having looked very closely at the statistics for this season, for us there is no debate when it comes to who should be crowned Gillingham Football Club’s Player of the Season for 2014-15.
From his first goal of the season – a crucial opener in August’s 2-0 home victory over Crewe – to his latest match winning strike last weekend to see of Rochdale, one player has stood out.
Dack nets his tenth of the season.
That player is Bradley Paul Dack.
The energetic midfielder has easily enjoyed his best campaign since turning professional in 2012, and he has quite simply got better and better the longer the season has gone on.
A young Dack after turning pro in 2012.
He currently stands on 48 appearances this term, and he has netted ten times at an average of 0.21 goals per game.
But let’s break that down and have a look at his season more closely.
Under now ex gaffer Peter Taylor he featured – not always from the start – in 25 of the 30 games that the Gills played, but more often than not he was played out of position to accommodate others.
He was played as part of a midfield three, or from the side, when it was clear that his best position was ‘in the hole’ behind the strikers.
Dack was becoming frustrated under ex boss Peter Taylor.
His talent was being wasted.
He hit only one crucial opener and one match winning goal during that time, and his total of three strikes under the former England U-21 boss came at just 0.12 per game.
But since Taylor left the club at the turn of the year, Greenwich born Dack has been employed in his favoured role.
He has quite simply flourished.
Of the 23 matches since Taylor’s departure, he has started every single one.
In that time he has hit crucial opening goals – leading to Gills’ victories – on three occasions; away to Peterborough (2-1) and Crawley (2-1), and as recently as last weekend at home to Rochdale (1-0).
He has also been the match winner twice, his strike versus Rochdale and also his 20 yard volley to secure a 3-2 win over Oldham at the MEMS Priestfield in January.
The match winner at home to Oldham.
His seven goals under the ‘Gang of Four’ and now Justin Edinburgh have been scored at an average of 0.30 per game, so if you converted that into a 50 game campaign – the amount he will have played if featuring in the remaining two fixtures – it would equate to fifteen goals.
No mean feat – at any level of the game – for a midfielder.
Also crucially, of the nine games in which he has netted in the league, the Gills have only lost once.
The seven victories and a draw that he has helped his team gain equates to 22 points from a possible 27.
He is still young, and is still learning the game, but for us there isn’t a player in his position who has caused so much excitement since the days when Paul Shaw was gracing a Gillingham shirt.
There are others who are certainly in the running for this prestigious award, but as we said right at the top of this piece, we cannot look any further than our long haired, diminutive play maker.