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Former Manchester United youngster closing in on return from injury for Gillingham

Matty Willock warmed up with the Gills team on the pitch prior to their FA Cup replay against Sunderland.

The young midfielder, signed following his release from Manchester United in the summer, has been missing long-term with a knee injury.

Matty Willock warmed up ahead of Gillingham's FA Cup match with Sunderland Picture: Ady Kerry
Matty Willock warmed up ahead of Gillingham's FA Cup match with Sunderland Picture: Ady Kerry

He’s been limited to just one 45-minute appearance for the Gills and boss Steve Evans can’t wait to unleash him on League 1.

Evans said: “He came in a week or so ago and felt a twinge and we left him out for a couple of days. He came back and the fitness boys said he was 100%, he is ready. We put him in training and said, ‘how good is he?!’.

More on the Gills;

“He needs to get some activity and whether that comes in training ground games, whatever.

“I talk about Jack Tucker and Joe Walsh, the players we’ve got, and we have a special boy in Willock.

“I worked hard to sign him. I spent nights outside his house waiting for his dad to come back from work so I could talk to him. His dad actually said perseverance won the day.”

Tom O'Connor has been in action for Republic of Ireland's under-21s Picture: Ady Kerry
Tom O'Connor has been in action for Republic of Ireland's under-21s Picture: Ady Kerry

Tom O’Connor, meanwhile, made his international debut last Thursday, playing 90 minutes for Republic of Ireland’s under-21s.

The 19-year-old is on loan with Gillingham from Southampton, where he has made 14 appearances.

O’Connor was in the line-up that faced Armenia in the UEFA Under-21 Championships, winning 1-0.

He followed that up with another 90 minutes on Tuesday as the Republic youngsters beat Sweden 4-1.

*Gillingham have changed the kick off time for the home match against MK Dons on Saturday, December 21. from 3pm to 1pm.


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