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Maidstone-born Doug Loft insists it was Gillingham's ambition and not location that sold him the move from Port Vale

By Luke Cawdell
Former Port Vale skipper Doug Loft in action for Gills Picture: Tony Flashman

Kent-born Doug Loft insists location had nothing to do with his decision to sign for Gillingham.

Loft supported the Gills as a boy and both he and his wife’s family are based in the Maidstone area.

But he said: “I am from Maidstone and am a local lad but that wasn’t anything to do with my decision coming down here.

“I would happily live anywhere and my decision was based on football and football alone.

“The management sold it to me and I have got great confidence and belief in everyone here and believe that we will do well.

Gillingham's Doug Loft in action against Dartford in pre-season

“It is a club I have always felt strongly for and will be proud to play for them.”

Before his own football career took off, with a move to Brighton via non-league Hastings, Loft spent his Saturday afternoons at Priestfield.

He said: “I used to watch them when I was younger, with my brother and my dad and I stood in the Rainham End – it was that long ago.

“The likes of Steve Butler were playing back then but when I started playing myself, I couldn’t come anymore but I supported Gills and it is a big club to me.

“I will be proud to play for them and keen to make a good impression.

“All of the family are down here and I am sure they will come and watch and help us try and get three points.”

Read more from Doug Loft in Friday's Medway Messenger newspaper. We have SEVEN pages of Gills coverage as we look ahead to the start of the League 1 season.

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