Adam Bird

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Friday, 4 August 2006

Return to the promised land?

And so it all begins again!

Millions of football supporters at work today will be sharing the anticipation and excitement that comes on the dawn of a new footballing season, every fan expecting this season to be the one that their team gets promotion, wins a cup or gets into Europe.

For me as a Gillingham fan I am dreaming of a promotion campaign back to the so called 'promised land' (which most people know as the Championship). The 'promised land' was so called because Gillingham had spent all of there first 100 years of existence playing in the bottom two division and only nearly making the step up on a couple of occasions.

After our five season stay, which the first three were magic (13th, 12th and 11th placed finishes), we find ourselves facing our second campaign plotting out return.

As a club we find now ourselves fairly settled after a chaotic and sometimes shambolic 'transitional' period. Ronnie Jepson is now the man at the helm and for me, so far so good.

I have been impressed with his comments in the media and on the official Gillingham Website, and think that he is the type of manager we need right now.

So dreaming of a promotion campaign, but what of the reality? The reality is that Gillingham are a club on a very tight budget and a small squad of young and hard working players who are capable of a top half finish. Ronnie Jepson will make sure that we are a tough team to beat this season, and not many teams will enjoy coming down to Priestfield.

I can see Bristol City and Nottingham Forest having a good season, and one of the promoted teams from League Two will continue the momentum they built up last year.

My only worry is a lack of goals in the side, Mulligan works incredibly hard and the new lad McDonald looks quite tricky, but neither have 'goal poacher' written all over them.

However, still imbedded in the back of my mind is this Wembley theory of mine! My friend Glyn joked with me at the end of the season by saying, "Ad, you know why Wembley is still not ready? The Gills weren't. Next year, when they are, so will Wembley!".

Que Sara Sara

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