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Neil Smith and Michael Flynn are among the names mentioned to take over at Gillingham following Steve Evans' exit


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Gillingham are on the hunt for a new manager once again - and they don't have far to turn if they want a quick appointment.

Neil Smith is the man many have talked about even before Steve Evans' weekend departure, a popular former Gillingham player who had Bromley challenging at the top end of the National League while managing at Hayes Lane.

Former Bromley boss Neil Smith among the early favourites to replace Steve Evans at Gillingham
Former Bromley boss Neil Smith among the early favourites to replace Steve Evans at Gillingham

The question is would chairman Paul Scally want to turn to another ex-Gills player having seen Andy Hessenthaler, Ady Pennock and Steve Lovell in and out of the club in the past?

Smith is familiar with the current squad having been a regular watching games at Priestfield this season.

Whoever takes charge is facing a relegation battle in League 1 with the Gills seven points from safety with half of the season played. Their big players are back from injury but Gills still suffered a 4-0 defeat at the weekend.

Michael Flynn remains out of work and would appear to be a popular choice. Gillingham's former midfielder did wonders in charge at old club Newport, pulling them clear of huge relegation issues in his first season before taking his side to two play-off finals, not to mention some big cup occasions.

Michael Flynn has been out of work since leaving Newport County Picture: Ady Kerry
Michael Flynn has been out of work since leaving Newport County Picture: Ady Kerry

There are no shortage of former managers who have recently joined the job market, with ex-Charlton boss Nigel Adkins and former Ipswich manager Paul Cook both boasting vast experience and recent League 1 knowledge.

Gillingham's title-winning captain Adam Barrett is another name being mentioned. He's been a coach at Championship side Millwall since 2017 and has worked his way up to assistant manager at The Den.

Neil Harris is out of work after being in charge of Millwall and most recently Cardiff City.

Boreham Wood's manager Luke Garrard - aged just 36 - is likely to want to prove himself at a higher level having impressed during his time in non-league football. They are in the mix for promotion from the National League and still in the FA Cup having knocked out League 1 AFC Wimbledon on Saturday.

Gillingham's title-winning skipper Adam Barrett is now in management Picture: Ady Kerry
Gillingham's title-winning skipper Adam Barrett is now in management Picture: Ady Kerry

There are some big names looking for jobs but money will talk. Mr Scally has been vocal about the club's lack of funds. Departing boss Evans was contracted until the end of this season.

If he's looking for an interim boss, he could turn to recently appointed youth coach Mark Moss who has previously worked in the academies at Nottingham Forest, Coventry City and Oxford United.

Whoever comes in is unlikely to be able to make many changes in the transfer window unless the Gills opt to move some high-profile players on. Only recently Evans said that offers have been made for Vadaine Oliver, Kyle Dempsey and Jack Tucker. Selling one or more may allow greater flexibility for a new boss to shuffle his pack.

Latest odds (BetVictor): Neil Smith 3/1, Michael Flynn 4/1, Neil Harris 5/1, Luke Garrard 10/1, Steve Bruce 12/1.

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