Gillingham striker Adam Birchall takes delight from scoring his first competitive goal for the club
Adam Birchall prepares
to net Gillingham's fourth goal Pic: Barry
Adam Birchall hit Gillingham’s
fourth and final goal on Saturday and promptly boasted he was back
It was Birchall’s first competitive
goal for the Gills, since signing from Dover Athletic 16 months
ago, after missing the whole of last season with a serious knee
A month’s loan at non-league
Dartford gave Birchall the confidence to forget about his injury
nightmare and start thinking about his goals.
He said: "I wanted to come back and
make an impression and I celebrated like it was a 30-yard
"After all I have been through I
can now put it all to bed and really get on with my career.
"That loan at Dartford was very
important and it was a big help. At the beginning of the season
something wasn’t right mentally with me.
"I would be going into a game
thinking ‘will the knee hold up?’ and I wasn’t worrying about the
game. That loan period was essential.
"I felt I was getting stronger as
the month went on and I wasn’t thinking about the knee anymore.
"At first (during the loan) there were some
big tackles going in and a few times I was thinking ‘oh no’ but
luckily it held up and it just kept proving to me that it was all
"If you are worrying about the
impact you are taking your mind off your touch. The touch never
actually goes, but it’s just putting things into order. Now I have
started to get used to being whacked again, it is business as usual
Birchall was celebrating wildly
after his goal but so were the fans, his team-mates and friends,
all of whom have helped him cope.
"That was massive for me and I
can’t thank everyone enough for their support," said the
"From the media, to the team, to
the management and the fans, everyone involved at the club. Other
clubs around Kent and old clubs outside Kent, a lot of people have
helped me through this and I am so grateful and thankful to them
and hopefully I can start repaying them.
"The gaffer here has always made me
feel like I am part of the squad. It’s never been, ‘oh, Birchall
isn’t quite fit’, it’s always been ‘Birchy you come in, you are
part of it’."
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