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Gillingham manager Mark Bonner looking for an aggressive approach to recruitment this summer and utilising the experience of Andy Hessenthaler and Kenny Jackett

Gillingham manager Mark Bonner says they will be aggressive in their summer recruitment but won’t be rushed into any deals.

Bonner has time on his side to build a squad over the next few weeks and was pleased to see that some of his targets were already on the hit list of the club’s recruitment department before he arrived.

Gillingham manager Mark Bonner has praised the recruitment work done before he took charge Picture: Keith Heppell
Gillingham manager Mark Bonner has praised the recruitment work done before he took charge Picture: Keith Heppell

The manager will hope to freshen things up in attack and has already made strikers Ashley Nadesan and Oli Hawkins available for transfer along with attacking midfielder George Lapslie. Off-loading left-sided defender Scott Malone would free up more funds.

Bonner said: “There has been some excellent work already done and actually a number of players I would have highlighted, Kenny (Jackett the director of football) and the guys already had as well, so there is obviously good thinking there. We have got similar ideas of what we think we can do and we’re working hard on it.

“Recruitment is huge, it always is every summer, and we have got work to do. There is lots of good work gone on previously and I’m really enjoying working with Kenny and Andy Hessenthaler (the head of recruitment) as well.

“They will be great for me, not only on the recruitment side but with their experience, the number of games they have managed, they will be really helpful for me to lean on for advice, a friendly bit of advice or to keep me in line sometimes, it will be good.

“Recruitment plans are in action and the sooner we can do something the better but we are in a position where we’ve got time. Sometimes people aren’t thinking about signing somewhere right now, they are enjoying themselves abroad.

“We will try and get bits done, we will be aggressive the way go about things, but all in good time. We will make good additions to the squad, I’m certain.”

Having adequate resources will be key and Bonner is likely to be well-backed this summer as the club’s owners have made it clear they are impatient to get out of League 2.

“Resources do make a difference but anybody can spend money,” cautioned the manager.

“It’s how you spend it that matters as well, it is a combination of the two, having money to spend or investing the money that you have got to spend properly, wisely, with a bit of a longer-term plan in mind, and in the right areas of the pitch to make you better. That’s the joined-up thinking we have to come towards and make sure we find.

“I have been really happy and impressed by the plans so far.”

Bonner has made it clear the kind of team he wants to end up with, saying: “I want my team to play forward, play fast and plays in a fearless way where we can and build a squad that is able to cope with the difficulty of a season.

“We will try and build something that everyone loves watching and loves being part of.”

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