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The Shouting Men column with Gillingham striker Tom Eaves

The goal I scored against Portsmouth in October is up there with my best but it’s not good enough to make the EFL’s goal-of-the-year shortlist.

I would love to know what the criteria is for the league, even to be nominated.

A few years back I scored a hat-trick against Crawley and I got a good goal there too, so it is probably a toss-up between the two as to which one is my best.

I can’t give the EFL too much stick for not including me, though, because I am a PFA (Professional Footballers’ Association) rep. I don’t want to start a revolt against the organisation that I am supposed to be supporting!

It is disappointing not to be nominated but if it’s not going to be me I would probably give it to Aston Villa’s John McGinn. That was probably the only one worthy.

I have a meeting with the PFA in Manchester next week and I’m going to kick up a stink!

Every team has to be assigned a PFA representative and I am supposed to be the responsible and sensible one, but little do they know. Nobody else wanted any of the responsibility so I agreed to do it.

If I had a say on what was being discussed next week, the number one thing I would bring up is a winter break in England.

Tom Eaves celebrates scoring his 19th goal of the season, against Luton Picture: Ady Kerry
Tom Eaves celebrates scoring his 19th goal of the season, against Luton Picture: Ady Kerry

I think giving players that time to rest and recoup will see the quality improve. The German League do it and that is why they are able to play at such a high intensity.

We don’t get international breaks in League 1 and 2 and we play a lot more league games than the Premier League. Without sounding like a big baby, it isn’t fair.

I think the fans would see the benefit of it. Your body does suffer. You think you are great but your body says otherwise.

After Christmas I had two niggling injuries and one was down to fatigue, of constantly pushing yourself – it is hard. Mentally, too, you come back and you are refreshed.

I don’t think it is healthy to centralise your life around one thing too much anyway. Ask anyone, in any other profession, it’s healthy not to take your job home.

I have other interests which help me focus and at the moment I am learning the piano. I’m not very good and I am realising how difficult it is.

Gills celebrate an early Tom Eaves equaliser at Sunderland Picture: Ady Kerry
Gills celebrate an early Tom Eaves equaliser at Sunderland Picture: Ady Kerry

There is a Piano Bar here at Gillingham but I am definitely not promising a song, maybe just Jaws as it’s only got two notes!

I’ve got other things to take my mind off football and there is talk of me taking up horse riding.

I was out lunging my girlfriend’s horse the other day, basically exercising it. Maybe I will go riding, let my hair down in the wind and go on horseback, with no shirt on, like Vladimir Putin!

At the minute all I’ve been doing is mucking out the stable. If you could see the inside of my car, it is like a stable and it smells like horse poo! I’m coming in with straw in my hair like Worzel Gummidge.

We’ve got AFC Wimbledon this weekend and they have picked up some very good results recently. I was speaking to Scott Wagstaff (the former Gills player, now playing for the Dons) and he says they are flying.

Wimbledon away is not nice. Last year we played there and it was the most hectic first 15 minutes of football I have known.

We couldn’t get out but Sean Clare managed to poke one in and the game settled down until Lee Martin got sent off! Hopefully it will be a bit more placid this weekend.

Lee Martin is shown red at Kingsmeadow Picture: Ady Kerry
Lee Martin is shown red at Kingsmeadow Picture: Ady Kerry

We might only need a couple of wins now and it would be nice to be mathematically safe early on. The way the table is we could still finish top half, that’s what we are capable of and it’s well within our reach.

I should be able to reach 20 goals but I don’t want to put myself under more pressure, just let it be and happen naturally.

I’ve scored a couple of bread-and-butter goals recently, both headers coming from similar positions. Callum Reilly put a great ball in at Luton and for me it is just a matter of staying in the box.

I certainly don’t know what will happen after this season. I don’t get home a lot and I want to spend time with my family. My sister keeps having babies and the family keeps growing! I like to switch off, go on a family holiday and just see what happens.

Tom Eaves celebrates one of his many goals, this one against Doncaster
Tom Eaves celebrates one of his many goals, this one against Doncaster

I haven’t ruled anything out, I promise I haven’t. A lot of factors come into play and my partner is down here, she is settled, she has a job here. I will just leave things to my agent.

I haven’t booked a holiday yet. I feel like if I start booking things now it will be in the back of my head about being on a beach in Tahiti rather than concentrating on putting the ball in the back of the net.

There is no worse feeling than being on holiday and looking back on a season and wishing you could have done more. I like to concentrate on what I need to do. Men can only do one thing at once after all, can’t they?

Tom Eaves answers out quickfire Q&A (7973872)
Tom Eaves answers out quickfire Q&A (7973872)

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