Published: 05:00, 01 March 2022
Gillingham manager Neil Harris says they’re in it to win it as he looks ahead to a Kent Cup contest with Margate.
Not all Gills managers have taken much interest in the county cup competition, but while Harris won’t be risking his senior starters, it may be an opportunity for some fringe players and talented youngsters to show what they can do.
Gillingham head to Margate for a second round Kent Senior Cup match tonight (Tuesday, kick-off 7.45pm).
Harris plans to be there at the match, and said: “That game takes priority for me, I will be going to that rather than a League 1 game or looking at future players.
“I want us to win the competition, I want us to beat Margate and then the next round against Dartford and Dover and I want us to get to the final. I want to see the young players have a winning mentality.”
One man who could feature for the Gills is young striker Joe Gbode, who only ended his loan spell with non-league Margate on Saturday. Despite not scoring for the Isthmian Premier Division side, he made a good impression during his one-month stint.
Harris will consult with his backroom team before deciding just who to include. Senior pros like Christian Maghoma, Tom Dickson-Peters and Charlie Kelman could do with minutes.
The likes of Harvey Lintott, Bailey Akehurst, Josh Chambers and Sam Gale, who have all been around the first-team this season, are set to be involved. Striker Gerald Sithole is missing through injury but his younger brother Ronald could feature. Kai Garrett could also have earned a place in the squad, scoring twice at the weekend for the under-18s while Chambers netted with a free-kick.
“Players need minutes and I need to see them,” Harris said.
“We have to look at what we need to do in training and what the balance of the week looks like. There are players I would like to play and I need to have a chat with them as well and the staff to see who we want to see from the academy. I want to see as many players as I can in a short space of time.
“It is another reason I want to get through in the competition. I want to win every game but also we want another fixture in the coming weeks.
“It will be a young team, because that’s all we’ve got, I won’t be taking the players who are playing regularly in the first-team at the moment because they will need a week on the training pitch.
“But it is a great game for us and I am really pleased we are in the competition. But it is on astro, which will be an issue for a couple of players who don’t train on astro regularly, but we will be looking to get minutes into players.”