Published: 00:00, 28 February 2017
Ady Pennock was delighted with the debut performance of 33-year-old Pakistan international Zesh Rehman.
The former QPR, Fulham and Bradford defender has spent the last six years in the Far East before signing for the Gills on Thursday.
His international clearance arrived in time for him to make his debut against Southend.
Pennock said: “He was excellent and he read the game very well. We needed that experience. I tried to get an experienced centre-half in before and it shows what one can bring to us.”
Rehman is well travelled. He played in the Premier League for Fulham but had spent the last few years on his travels, playing for Muangthong United in Thailand, Hong Kong side Kitchee and Malaysian Super League outfit Pahang.
He arrived at the Gills after a pre-season in Malaysia and was ready for action.
Pennock said: “I have been hunting the world and I’m not joking.
“We were close to getting a defender in and that was done and dusted but he ended up getting injured for his club. Then there was the Bondz N’Gala situation, which was a kick in the teeth.”
Before N’Gala’s on-off transfer, it’s understood the Gills had agreed a deal to bring in Charlton’s Roger Johnson. Neither deal came off and Rehman is now determined to show what he can do.
“He is perfect for us, exactly what we want,” said Pennock.
“He has experience, he is a good talker, a leader and that is what we need. We need someone at the back who can organise."
After his debut, Rehman tweeted: “Excellent fighting spirit from the lads. Delighted to get a win on my debut. The atmosphere from the fans was superb.”