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The Shouting Men: Gillingham midfielder Billy Bingham writes exclusively for the KM Group

By KentOnline reporter

I can’t speak highly enough of Crewe but I found it tough living up North and I was desperate to come back home.

I believe it affected my game being away. At first it hit me like a ton of bricks. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into after leaving Dagenham.

As I got to grips with it, I began adapting and getting better and playing the way I used to play but it did affect me.

Billy Bingham is thriving again after his return South Picture: Andy Jones
Billy Bingham is thriving again after his return South Picture: Andy Jones

My fiancee would travel up for one week and then she’d be home for three weeks so I was in the flat on my own and the routine got boring, if I’m honest.

Most of the boys lived an hour away so there wasn’t anyone around, so you’d go back to your flat and that was it.

I went up there after a good season at Dagenham. Crewe were in the league above and I saw it as a good chance to play at that level and try and kick on again.

When it came to leaving at the end of last season, Crewe were OK. They asked my situation and I told them how I felt. The manager said there was no point trying to twist my arm because he’d been in that position himself and he wished me all the best.

I had other options but Gillingham was the main one and closest to my house.

As soon as the option came up to come down and train, I gave it my best and was delighted to get a two-year deal.

I’m a centre-midfielder but I can also play at the back. When I was at Crewe, we played against Yeovil and the centre-half broke his back, so I slotted in.

I ended up playing the last eight games at centre-half but I didn’t mind it - I found it easier than centre-midfield. I hadn’t played there before but it’s just an easier version of centre-midfield.

You can see the whole game in front of you, it’s a similar position, tucking round and things like that and I found it quite easy.

One thing Gills have done for my game is given me freedom to play.

Don’t get me wrong, I do have a role to play but when I get on the ball, they’ve given me the freedom to play the way I want to play. I’d like to think I have a few goals in me, too.

Read the full column in Thursday's Medway Messenger.

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