06 August 2012

Ebbsfleet Utd v Gillingham Pre-Season

The following is the article I wrote for the Ebbsfleet United v Gillingham Pre-Season game, which the Gills won 3-2.

Today we welcome our near neighbours Gillingham for what is on paper a mouth-watering pre-season friendly.  It is certain to be a no-holds barred encounter with both sets of players keen to impress their respective managers. 

For Ebbsfleet it has been a pretty good pre-season so far.  A win at Tonbridge was followed by a narrow loss to Reading and then a great 1-0 home win against Leyton Orient.  A number of players have impressed in these pre-season games, and it was good to see new signing Nathan Elder score the winner against the O’s. 

Talking of new signings, we extend a warm welcome to defender Patrick Ada who has signed for the Fleet from Burton Albion.  To date he is developing a useful partnership with our defensive stalwart, and inspirational skipper, Paul Lorraine.  If his pre-season form is a sign of what we can expect, then Ada will have a very good season with the club.

The match versus Leyton Orient was a special one indeed.  It was also played to recognise Liam Daish as being the longest serving manager in the club’s history.  To celebrate this feat, a stand has been named in his honour, for all the tireless work he has done at this club over the past 8 years.  Loyalty is an extremely rare word in football circles, but we should be very proud, and lucky, that Liam Daish has shown the club this trait. 

Since being manager Liam Daish has had to contend with a number of issues, but has certainly come out on top more often than not.  An FA Trophy victory and a Blue Square South play-off victory are just two of the highlights of his reign so far.  Let’s hope there are many more successes in store for both the manager and club.

Gillingham come here today with a new manager and a squad that is gradually being rebuilt to the way that Martin Allen requires.  The Gills had a 1-0 victory last week at neighbours Dartford with the goal coming from new signing Ben Strevens.  The new Gills manager has certainly been living up to his unconventional ways by having his dog Monty with him in the dugout! One thing is for certain, it will not be a boring season for Gillingham with Martin Allen in charge of the team!

We can certainly expect a full blooded encounter between these two teams, whose managers believe in ensuring that their players give 110% effort.  Hopefully, there will also be a large crowd that will add to the atmosphere today at Stonebridge Road.

Finally, a plea to all the supporters at the game today.  Ebbsfleet United is run on an extremely tight budget where every penny counts.  We do not have the luxury of large attendances, or substantial amounts of revenue coming in from other sources.  If you want to help the club out, you could decide to sponsor one of the Fleet’s players, or alternatively become a member of My Football Club - MYFC (www.myfootballclub.co.uk).  MYFC gives all members the chance to take decisions in the day to day running of a football club, as well as becoming a co-owner of the Fleet!

Please consider helping out the club where possible, as we all want to see the Fleet continue on an upwards direction.  Hopefully one day Ebbsfleet United v Gillingham will become a regular fixture in League 2 or above!

Enjoy the game, and Up the Fleet! 

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