As the League One campaign approaches its final day this weekend, many managers and coaches up and down the country will be assessing their players with one eye already on next term.
Here at RainhamEndViews we have taken a look at how each Gillingham player has fared this season, starting with the goalkeepers and defenders:
Stuart Nelson (30 games/ 0 goals/ 3 yellows/ 0 reds) It has been a funny kind of campaign for ‘Nels’ who started out as the club’s undisputed number one. However, an injury on the opening day saw him replaced by Stephen Bywater, and then more recently he has been dropped to the bench as Justin Edinburgh gives games to Glenn Morris. Still retains plenty of ability, but some top displays have been ruined by a couple of howlers – 6.5/10
HIGHLIGHT: Returning from injury in October to help the Gills see off Colchester on penalties in the JP Trophy.
Nelson was the penalty hero versus Colchester.
Stephen Bywater (14/0/1/0) Having arrived as cover for the injured Stuart Nelson in August, veteran Bywater showed all his experience during his time with the Gills. In total he played 14 times, keeping four clean sheets – 6/10
HIGHLIGHT: Saving a penalty on his debut which helped the club to a 2-0 win over Yeovil.
Glenn Morris (12/0/0/0) The 31 year old has had to bide his time all season, and despite coming on for the injured Nelson on the opening day he was kept on the bench as then gaffer Peter Taylor drafted in Stephen Bywater on loan. However, whenever called upon he has never let anyone down, and his hard work finally paid off when he was drafted into the side in March. He has been solid in all of his eight league starts from then onwards – 6.5/10
HIGHLIGHT: Two top drawer stops on route to his first clean sheet as the Gills saw off Play Off chasing Bradford 1-0.
Joe Martin (32/2/7/1) Despite featuring in over 30 games it seems to have been a stop start campaign for Martin. Up until November he was the regular first choice at left back, but since then suspensions and injuries have taken a toll, and in total he has missed almost three months of game time. Dependable enough, but perhaps no longer an automatic pick – 6/10
HIGHLIGHT: A sublime free kick to help see off Yeovil 2-0 in August.
Kortney Hause (17/1/1/0) The young defender arrived at the start of the season, and performed well at either centre half or left back. Perhaps no coincidence that he was missing from the side for large periods – due to England call ups – of the Gills’ winless run between September and November? Has since featured on 17 occasions for Wolves in the Championship – 7/10
HIGHLIGHT: Gaining international recognition while on loan at the Gills.
Hause has featured regularly since returning to Wolves.
Callum Davies (8/0/0/0) The promising Davies has sadly had an injury hit campaign, and has not been seen in a Gills shirt since October. In the eight games that he did feature, he helped secure two clean sheets and progess in the JP Trophy. It is hoped that he can recover fully and push on next term – 5.5/10
HIGHLIGHT: Captaining the side to a 1-0 JP Trophy victory over Stevenage in September.
John Egan (52/5/8/0) A revelation since arriving on a free last summer. From day one it was abundantly clear he was a class above plenty in this division, and this is backed up by the fact that Championship outfit Blackburn were after him. Has not had a single bad game, and he has all the tools to rise the footballing ladder. An absolute steal – 8.5/10
HIGHLIGHT: His monumental, injury defying display at Ashton Gate to ensure a 0-0 draw versus leaders Bristol City.
Joe Martin, Max Ehmer and John Egan all keep Bristol City at bay at Ashton Gate in March.
Leon Legge (30/4/4/0) Big Leon was another who was first choice at the start of the season, but then had to sit and wait for his chance throughout the winter. An old school centre half who will head and block anything thrown at him, he has recently got back into the side and hasn’t let anybody down. A top class professional – 7/10
HIGHLIGHT: Two huge goals in the 3-2 win over Leyton Orient to help his side to their first league victory in two months.
Max Ehmer (29/1/5/0) Since arriving on loan from QPR in November, Max has started in 28 games in all competitions. In that time the Gills have only lost seven as he has built up a solid foundation alongside John Egan and now also Leon Legge. How successful the Gills are next term could depend on whether they can persuade the big German that his future lies at the MEMS Priestfield – 8/10
HIGHLIGHT: He was faultless alongside John Egan in the 0-0 draw at Bristol City in March.
Gavin Hoyte (35/0/3/1) Despite recently losing his place due to a change of system, right back Hoyte has nonetheless had a decent campaign having arrived originally on a short term deal. Could do with another out and out right back to provide him with some competition, but he can be happy enough with his debut season with the Gills – 6.5/10
HIGHLIGHT: Played a massive part in the club’s eight game unbeaten run – including wins over Sheffield United & MK Dons – through January and February.
Bradley Garmston (9/1/0/0) The flying left back arrived on loan from West Brom in January, and during that time he helped the Gills to an eight game unbeaten streak, including consecutive wins over Sheffield United, Peterborough and MK Dons – 7/10
HIGHLIGHT: Scoring the crucial third goal in February’s 4-2 victory over high flying MK Dons.
Garmston celebrates netting versus MK Dons in February.
Amari’i Bell (7/0/0/0) The third loanee to come in and replace Joe Martin this term has looked the part from day one. He has featured seven times for the club, and in that time they have lost only once. Justin Edinburgh has already said they will keep an eye on his situation during the summer – 7/10
HIGHLIGHT: Helping the club secure back to back home clean sheets in the wins versus Bradford and Rochdale.
Mentions also go to Matt Fish and Adam Chicksen. Fish featured six times – losing only to Newcastle – before departing first to Portsmouth on loan and then to Ebbsfleet on a permanent contract, while Chicksen was unbeaten in his four games at the MEMS Priestfield before returning to Brighton.
Keep an eye out for part two of our Gills’ Player Ratings 2014-15: Midfielders & Strikers……
UP THE GILLS!!