20Questions - Gillingham

Last updated : 27 January 2006 By Deano
Who are you and how long have you supported your club?
I'm Simon Head, and I've been following the Gills for just over a decade now

What was your first game?
It was a home game against Maidstone United - I was stuck at the back of the old Town End terrace, so I remember precisely nothing about the game, because I barely saw any of it!

Most memorable and worst game you've seen and why?
Most memorable game? Predictably, the playoff games at Priestfield and the finals at Wembley, but our FA Cup win over Sheffield Wednesday takes some beating, too. Worst game? Take your pick from the last two seasons

Who are your current local rivals and why?
In truth, we don't have any local rivals. We're the only league club in Kent (despite the papers filling their pages with Charlton news) so we're a bit of a football outpost in that regard. Geographically, Southend are the closest as the crow flies, but I wouldn't put them above anyone else in terms of rivalry, though.

Who are the best and worst players you have seen?
At Gillingham? Super Bob Taylor was a genius, simple as that. As for the worst at Gillingham, that honour would probably go to Barry Miller, who was somehow a member of our great in our promotion-winning squad. Lee Matthews was pretty poor too, but he was on loan from Leeds at the time, so technically he wasn't ours.

How did you fare last season?
I don't want to talk about it, my therapy only finished last week... Seriously though, we were utter toilet from start to finish. A late rally nearly saved us, but we couldn't defend, and let leads slip in our last two games to seal our fate.

Where do you think you'll finish this season?
Mid-table obscurity. Anywhere between ninth (my pre-season prediction) and 16th. And we'd be happy with that, too.

If the Gills were a TV personality, who would they be and why?
Dusty Bin. Working out how to win away from home is proving as difficult as working out those impossible clues on 3-2-1. Hopefully Ronnie Jepson will soon become our Ted Rogers (without the dodgy syrup)

What do you think of the Millers?
They're a club much like our own. We have to cut our cloth accordingly these days and it's a bit of a slog at times, and I think we have an affinity with other clubs like that, as we're all in a similar position.

Any thoughts on Darren Byfield? Hows he done for you?
On his day, he's superb. But he's a touch inconsistent and can frustrate at times. But he's just had a baby with Jamelia and that will raise his game. It's a scientifically proved fact. Had a blinder against Swindon, and has had a nice rest for a week after being suspended, so he'll be up for it this weekend.

What sort of reception will Paul Shaw get on his return to Priestfield?
A good one. Many attribute our downslide to the failure to adequately replace Shaw, along with Marlon King and Simon Osborn - and I think that's about right too. A cracking little player, who many would love to have seen return to Priestfield. He scored twice for Sheff Utd last time he paid us a visit, so we're hoping he'll go a little easier on us this weekend.

Which current or former Millers player has impressed you the most?
Mike Pollitt. He played for us for a short spell years ago - and he's now having a great time of it in the Premiership with Wigan. Man of the Match against the Gunners in the Carling Cup in midweek, he had an absolute blinder. Good luck to him.

Are you happy with your chairman and board members?
At the moment, people don't really know what to think. There's no information coming out of the club, and we are fearful for the financial position we're in. Sadly, the club haven't been forthcoming with that info to date, and as a result, many fans don't trust Paul Scally. He's done well for us down the years, but there's a growing fear that he's made a major cock-up with the redevelopment of the ground - and the subsequent overspend has left us in deep debt.

Which team do or did you want to beat the most this season and why?
Swindon. There's a bit of history between the two clubs, and we won the home game 3-0. Sadly idiots from both sides wanted to turn it into something more than a football rivalry and there were ugly scenes before and after the game - which neither club needs. Hopefully the game at their place goes off without incident.

What do you remember of last season's encounter between the teams at Priestfield?
The greatest own goal ever scored at Priestfield. 30 yards, on the stretch, with the keeper just off his line. What a finish! Take a bow, Paolo Vernazza.

Who's your strongest or weakest link?
Strongest link is the manager. He's got the whole team playing as a unit, and he doesn't give them a second's rest during the games. The weakest link is probably our forward line. We're doing OK at home, but our front line needs to contribute more goals than it's doing right now.

Predicted score for tomorrow's game?
Well, looking at our current home form, the value bet is a 3-0 win to the Gills, as we've won three out of our last four home games by that scoreline, but I'll go for a 2-0 win to the Gills.

Who's going up?
Swansea, Colchester and Brentford

MK Dons, Swindon and Blackpool

And finally...meat and tatty, beef and onion or balti??!
None of the above. The only pie worth anything round these parts is the home-made Steak and Spitfire Ale pies at Priestfield.

Thanks to Simon for taking part in the 20Questions and good luck for the rest of the season, after tomorrow of course!