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The Shouting Men: Gillingham foward Josh Parker writes exclusively for the KM Group

By KentOnline reporter

I was happy with my goal on Saturday but just before scoring I thought I might have to be subbed.

I had a two or three-minute spell where I gave the ball away three or four times and I was thinking ‘what’s going on?’.

I was looking at Loves (Steve Lovell) and thinking ‘you might have to sub me here’.

Gillingham's Josh Parker after scoring against Leyton Orient in the FA Cup. Picture Andy Jones

Gillingham's Josh Parker after scoring against Leyton Orient in the FA Cup. Picture: Andy Jones

Normally when you give the ball away twice, the third pass you think will be easy but it was a simple pass and I gave it away again and I was thinking ‘oh my God’. I thought I was having a breakdown.

The goal overshadowed that little five-minute spell. I desperately needed that goal. I am not sure what others were thinking.

I have scored four goals in my last three and if that form was to carry on, then I would be more than happy.

I have personal targets but don’t want to beat myself up if I don’t reach them because sometimes I find myself in a 3-5-2 and I can be playing in the back five, like a left-back.
I saw my old coach Tony Thompson just before I started scoring again and he told me I needed to have a target in my head of how many goals I want.

That is something that when I was playing under him and at QPR I would always set. If you surpass that, happy days. It gives you something to aim for.

Tony was my Sunday League coach but when I was unable to play football, because of my contractual dispute with Red Star, he was the person I was working for in a coffee shop which he owned. I enjoyed the experience, I had never done a normal job before.

I had early starts because it was in Willesden Green, which from my house was a 45-minute drive. I had to open up the shop and then stay until 9pm.

It was a hip-hop coffee shop. In the daytime it was somewhere where people could display their art for free. In the evening it would become an event space.

It was like an adult community hub where they would do open mic nights, comedy, spoken word evenings and chess club.

For me it was good. I am usually quite shy when I don’t know someone but then when I am introduced to someone I will speak openly and I like conversation, I could talk all night. I met so many different characters and celebrities as well, like Nathalie Emmanuel from Game of Thrones.

Read the full column in Thursday's Medway Messenger

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