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The Shouting Men: Gillingham defender Max Ehmer writes exclusively for the KM Group

I’ll be looking forward to my return to Carlisle in the FA Cup second round replay next week.

I had a good time up there on loan under then-manager Graham Kavanagh earlier in my career.

The highlight of my time there was in the FA Cup, with a game against Sunderland.

Gillingham's Max Ehmer. Picture: Andy Jones
Gillingham's Max Ehmer. Picture: Andy Jones

I wasn’t allowed to play in the first two rounds – against Boreham Wood and Brentford – but when we drew Sunderland in the third round, I just said ‘you might as well let me play’ and they did. Harry Redknapp was the manager of my parent club QPR at the time.

Carlisle sold out the away end, there were 20-odd thousand fans in the ground and it was a great atmosphere.

We were 1-0 down, got it back to 1-1 before half-time but they went on to win – they had their big players playing and it was a good experience.

I was living in an apartment with Ben Amos, who is now at Charlton and Tom Lawrence, now at Derby, as both were on loan from Manchester United at the time. We had a good team that year.

They were mid-table when I got recalled but they went down in the end, unfortunately.

There aren’t any of the players I knew still there but I know a couple of staff members and Keith Curle (the Carlisle manager) from his QPR days, under Neil Warnock.

Clint Hill (their central defender) is someone I know from QPR. He is defensively good, as we saw last Saturday. He has had a solid career, he can play when he needs to and is a top pro.

It’s a shame we couldn’t beat them first time around at Priestfield, especially after taking an early lead.

We’ve got a game against Plymouth in the league on Saturday before the Carlisle replay, so it’s another long journey for us and the fans.

There is a card school going on when we travel and I have just recently learnt poker to get in with the boys. Byrner and Waggy are decent but I think they cheat. They are in the car school together and they sit together when we play cards. It is debatable.

I will just keep bluffing that I am rubbish and then beat them all!

I currently room with Marts, he is good. Like me we just chill out, we watch TV. Since having my little one, I try and make the most of getting some extra sleep!

It wasn’t always like that, though, and previously I roomed with Dacky. We were always up to something, although mainly it was him. I still speak to him most days and we play golf together.

It hasn’t surprised me how well he has done since his move to Blackburn. Dacky has quality, everyone knows it.

Read the full column in Thursday's Medway Messenger

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