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The Shouting Men: Gillingham midfielder Darren Oldaker writes exclusively for the KM Group

By KentOnline reporter

I love a goal and it was great to get on the scoresheet last week in the Kent Senior Cup win over Phoenix Sports.

They scored with a good free-kick and that’s something I love doing, too.

I practise set-pieces all the time, staying behind on my own after training. I feel that if I can master them, it can be massive for me.

Darren Oldaker practises set-pieces constantly Picture: Andy Payton
Darren Oldaker practises set-pieces constantly Picture: Andy Payton

I hit the bar here against Southend in the Checkatrade Trophy from a free-kick and we scored off it. It turned out to be the winning goal.

My dad has been a big influence on my career. If it wasn’t for him I doubt I would still be playing football. After leaving QPR I said I wasn’t going to play anymore but he was the one who made me carry on. He wouldn’t let it go.

I am glad I carried on. My dad goes to every game, even if I am just on the bench. Mum tries to come too, which is nice. If I have a bad game, my dad will be honest with me. He will say how he thinks I played, good or bad, and that is what I want.

I probably haven’t played as much as I wanted this season but it’s a new start since the change of manager. Everyone has a chance.

There are always chances in football. Football is full of opinions. One manager might not like you, another will. There is no point sulking about it, which I probably did a bit last season.

This season, I changed my attitude completely and I’ve always been positive. There is a good chance for everyone to get in and people are running around with a smile.

I did almost leave on loan at the start of the season, as I just wanted to play. I didn’t think I was going to get a chance under Ady. We tried sorting a loan move out, there was talk of Maidstone but that didn’t happen and I almost went to Iceland.

I have always wanted to play abroad, I would have loved it out in Iceland, even if I couldn’t even pronounce the name of the club who were interested!

Read the full column in this week's Medway Messenger.

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