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Gillingham captain Stuart O'Keefe not involved against Swindon Town on Saturday

There was no room in the matchday squad for Gillingham captain Stuart O’Keefe on Saturday.

With new additions to the Gills squad in recent weeks, experienced midfielder O’Keefe has dropped down the pecking order.

Stuart O'Keefe in action for the Gills at Stevenage
Stuart O'Keefe in action for the Gills at Stevenage

The 31-year-old former Cardiff City and Crystal Palace man had been a regular starter for the Gills but was left out on Saturday for the match at Swindon, which ended 3-3.

Manager Neil Harris admitted O'Keefe's absence was down to selection.

He said: “There was no Stuey, he didn’t travel. He is part of my plans, he is my club captain and a great lad.

“(I have) so much time and respect for Stuey but he just didn’t make the travelling party.”

O’Keefe’s last start for the Gills came on January 2 at Stevenage.

The Gills have made midfield additions during the transfer window and it’s seen Timothee Dieng claim a starting place since arriving. Alex MacDonald has also come into some great form alongside the newcomers - setting up all three goals for new striker Tom Nichols.

George Lapslie is another midfield addition who has come off the bench in the last two games. Taking the captain’s armband in recent games has been Irishman Shaun Williams.

With a bigger squad, Harris now has selection options on a weekly basis, something he hasn’t had the luxury of since taking charge a year ago. Midfielders Ethan Coleman and Jayden Clarke have yet to be introduced since they were signed.

Striker Lewis Walker also missed out at the weekend - replaced in the squad by Scott Kashket - but it’s understood he was missing through injury.

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