Published: 06:00, 26 November 2020
Captain Kyle Dempsey is loving life at Gillingham even though he’s a long way from home.
The 25-year-old was born and raised in Cumbria, starting out at Carlisle, before spending two years at Huddersfield and then three at Fleetwood. The furthest south he had previously been was a half season loan at Peterborough.
Manager Steve Evans went the extra mile to land the midfielder in the summer, literally, with several jaunts up to the Cumbrian coast to persuade the player to sign. With the captain’s armband and some impressive performances behind him, Dempsey appears to have settled well.
He said: “It is about 360 miles for me to go back home so I don’t think I will be going back until the season ends but I am loving life down here.
“I have a manager who really believes in me and hopefully that can keep kicking my football on.
“It is a great team to captain. We have got a good mix of youngsters and senior pros, the seniors help me out. It is a top quality group and I am looking forward to continuing.
“I got given the armband during a young part of my career when I was at Carlisle and it brings other qualities like responsibility, leadership, more talking and I think it has developed my game massively.”
Dempsey, who scored the first for the Gills on Tuesday night against Wimbledon, has got over an early season injury and feels he is up to where he wants to be, fitness wise.
He said: “I wanted to hit the ground running. I suffered an injury in the back stages of last year and after picking that (injury up for the Gills) it was just a case of staying mentally strong and just trying to get as fit as I could so when I did step on the pitch I could deliver performances to a high level. Now I am getting that full match fitness, which I am up to, I am starting to show the difference in my games.”
His third minute goal got the Gills off to a good start on Tuesday but he was denied a second by the woodwork. It’s the second time he’s rattled the frame of the goal at the Rainham End.
Goals and wins haven’t felt the same without fans and Dempsey is looking forward to hearing the roar from the supporters.
He said: “I wanted to come here and showcase myself to the fans and show what I am about.
“I know they are watching on ifollow and stuff but having them in the ground, especially having scored my first goal for the club, it would have been nice for them to have been here and to have listened to the cheers, hopefully it is not too long now.”
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