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Gillingham striker Tom Eaves says time at Priestfield has been the most enjoyable two years of his life

By Luke Cawdell

Tom Eaves says he’s in no rush to make his mind up over his Gillingham future.

The striker finished the season with two goals in a 3-0 League 1 win over Blackpool on Saturday.

It took his tally over the two seasons that he’s been at the club to an impressive 40 goals from 97 games.

Tom Eaves celebrates scoring Gills' third goal on Saturday Picture: Ady Kerry
Tom Eaves celebrates scoring Gills' third goal on Saturday Picture: Ady Kerry

Gillingham are without a manager but the club evidently want him to stay and Eaves has loved his time at Priestfield.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here,” said the 27-year-old striker.

“There have been a lot of ups and downs, a lot of stressful times, but I wouldn’t swap it for anything.

“Whatever happens I will cherish these last two seasons. I really will.

“I would go as far to say that Gillingham Football Club has given me the most enjoyable time, not just in my football career, but in my life.

“I think (a contract offer) is being spoken about at the moment but I won’t beat around the bush, ultimately I will just do what is best with me and my partner.

“Whatever happens I have loved my time at Gillingham. If I stay, I do, and if I don’t, I don’t.

“I am absolutely going to go away and get a pina colada and put my feet up.

“I have enjoyed it but there have been a lot of stressful times. When you get beat anyone in football will tell you, you do take it home with you.

“It can take over your life and I know that’s probably not just football, that’s with a lot of jobs.

“But it is important to switch off and that is what I am going to do, I’ll switch off, go on holiday and I can’t wait.”

Eaves was signed by Ady Pennock on a free transfer from Yeovil Town, where he had a modest goal record.

It’s at Gillingham where the striker has made a name for himself in the lower leagues, firstly under Pennock and then once Steve Lovell took over.

Eaves said: “The very first article I did, I came out and said I wanted 20 goals. I said it last year as well when I finished, that I wanted to beat that total. You just have to believe in yourself.

“I have got nothing but good things to say about Steve Lovell and the management staff, nothing but good things.

“They played me every week and I am thankful for the support I have got from them, that’s going back to Ady (Pennock) and Peter Taylor, people who brought me to the club. If they didn’t give me the opportunity I wouldn’t be talking about 40 goals.

“Patto (caretaker boss Mark Patterson) started me on Saturday and I am so thankful for everyone, I really am.

“I knew I was going to score on Saturday, I just knew it.

“I am slightly disappointed I didn’t get a hat-trick. I thought I might get a sniff in the second half but the game kind of went flat, at 3-0 the job was done.

“I thought the ref might send me off towards the end, because I got WWE clothes-lined. Their goalkeeper grabbed me by the throat but I don’t want to take the shine off the win."

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