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The Shouting Men: Gillingham defender Aaron Simpson writes exclusively for the KM Group

By KentOnline reporter

I am proud to come from the local area and to be representing the Gills. It’s quite a big thing to be playing for my local team.

There are a lot of people from Medway trying to do the same and for all my hard work to pay off gives them hope because they can look at others, like me, and think, ‘if they can make it, I can make it’.

I began at a couple of local teams, starting at Rainham Kenilworth and going on to Lordswood.

Aaron Simpson. Picture Andy Payton

Aaron Simpson. Picture: Andy Payton

I had a trial at Spurs as a striker. It didn’t work out but I carried on going. I was still young and just stayed positive. I knew there was plenty of time and plenty more clubs.

My dad played football at a semi-pro level around the London area. He wasn’t bad and I have always been brought up playing and watching.

My dad took me to a few games, took me to Gillingham and White Hart Lane a couple of times, although his team is Liverpool. Because of that they are my team, too.

I joined the Gills after a six-week trial and joined the under-14s.

I made my debut earlier this season against Southend in the Checkatrade Trophy and that was so scary. I wasn’t expecting to come on but the gaffer turned around and said, ‘get ready, Aaron, warm up.’

I just thought to myself, ‘do the things you know you can do, keep it simple, don’t try and complicate anything because that is when stuff starts going wrong’. I knew I had to do what got me the opportunity in the first place.

It was nerve-wracking, warming up and waiting to come on. Running on to the pitch was so exciting.

The past five years have gone towards making that appearance and it was probably one of the proudest moments of my life.

Read the full column in Thursday's Medway Messenger.

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