League Cup Setback Won’t Hinder Progress

So the unbeaten run came to an end last night, as a fourth long away trip in quick succession finally caught up with Justin Edinburgh’s young squad.

Despite competing for long periods with Championship side Birmingham, goals conceded in each half saw the Gills defeated 2-0 in the second round of the Capital One Cup.

Edinburgh had said beforehand that the game should be seen as an opportunity.

Therefore he was understandably disappointed with the way his side conceded, but he wasn’t too hard on his young charges.

And rightly so, because to a man they have been fantastic over the first half a dozen games.

Birmingham were too strong, but new boys Jordan Houghton and Rory Donnelly have settled well.

Yes nobody likes getting beaten, and a cup run would’ve been a welcome bonus in terms of prestige and finance.

But that is what they are, a bonus, a welcome aside to the main focus for a club like us, the league.

And on that front Justin, his team of coaches, the staff working behind the scenes, and the players on the pitch have all been first class.

At the very top, club Chairman Paul Scally always talks about the ‘Gills family’ in reference to the whole club being a tight knit group, so let’s be very clear here.

This blistering start to the season is no fluke, it is very much the result of a huge team effort on and off the pitch.

On the opening day the players put on a wonderful display to defeat pre-season title favourites Sheffield United 4-0, but off the pitch the fans were also treated.

Ryan Jackson starred in the opening day demolition of Sheffield United.

There had been summer talk of renovations to the facilities under the Rainham End.

That talk was by no means idle chat, and has been backed up by progress, as the new Rainham Terrace is fresh and exciting. It offers a variety of cuisine and beverages as the club looks to give supporters a better all round match day experience.

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The new Rainham Terrace has proved popular with fans of the club.

On top of that Scally has promised all other food outlets around the stadium will be improved to a similar standard, and the refurbished Blues Rock Café should be reopened in September.

All simple little things when you look at them individually, but as the old saying goes, every little helps.

Today the club has opened its brand new state of the art gym, another little step that is hoped will give the players that edge as the season goes on.

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The Chairman has first go in the new state of the art gym.

Of course all of this progress wouldn’t be such common knowledge without the power of something we all take for granted, the Internet.

The club should be given credit for the way they have improved all of their social media accounts, leading to more interaction with fans.

Until the summer the club’s Facebook page was the most reliable source of information.

However,  this was still a fairly regimented approach, the same things – match previews, reviews and player interviews etc – churned out on a regular basis, but it serves a purpose.

Now though, with Charlotte Richardson on board as Head of Marketing and Communications, the Twitter and Instagram accounts have become lot more interactive and fan orientated.

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We have always had interaction with the players themselves, but since the changes we have been treated to retweets and banter aplenty from the club.

On top of that there have been new features such as player messages and videos, Power Hour and a member of the club – so far both Edinburgh and Scally have taken part – answering fan questions the day before each home game.

Again it is only little things, but they make a big difference.

Fans of other teams often refer to us as ‘little Gillingham‘, and some fans see it as a slight on the club.

To me though it’s not an issue, as their digs are usually the result of us beating them.

But with all the positive changes off the pitch coupled with the progress being made on it, we may not be little for too much longer.

Yes last night was disappointing, but it was merely a setback on what looks like being a very exciting journey over the next nine months.

On and off the pitch………



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