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Gillingham sign former Wales international Jonny Williams from under the noses of League 2 rivals Bradford City

Gillingham beat League 2 rivals Bradford City to the signing of midfielder Jonny Williams and he’s explained why he chose to sign on at Priestfield.

The 29-year-old was a target for the Bantams who thought they had their man on Wednesday before the Gills landed the former Welsh international on a three-year-deal.

Gillingham's new signing Jonny Williams
Gillingham's new signing Jonny Williams

“It has been an exciting one,” said Williams, after a rollercoaster day. “A lot of thought went into it, it is the next three years of my life, I feel like I am coming back home.

“I am from Kent and this is the only Kent team in the Football League.

“I have always wanted to play for Gillingham one day and today is the day it feels right. To be close to family and friends, but also to be part of this project.

“I have been made well aware that this is a project that wants to keep moving forward, and having the new chairman come in in January, he wants to succeed and make this club better and I am delighted to be here. Hopefully I can contribute on and off the pitch.

“I had a soft spot for them, I have always liked the idea of playing for them.”

Williams, who has retired from international football, joins the Gills after two years at Swindon Town.

He started his career at Crystal Palace and counts Charlton and Cardiff City among his other teams.

“I am excited to work under (manager) Neil Harris,” he said. “I have played against his teams many times, he has achieved some great success elsewhere and I have heard a lot of good things from players who have played under him.

“I am excited to work under him, I understand it is a good group and that is important. If you want to achieve promotion you want to be part of a tight-knit group and when you play against Gillingham you come across a good group of people that are honest, they want to win and I want to be part of it.”

Speaking about Bradford, he added: “Bradford is a very big club, a great club in this division, a well respected club. It has its positives but when Gillingham came in it was a hard decision, a lot of thought, not a lot of sleep, but I want to be near home, that is where my friends and family are.

“I want to be part of this project and it was an opportunity I have always wanted to take in my career, to play for Gillingham, close to home and be a part of a team that is likely to achieve success and I want to be a part of that.

“Here I am, I am looking forward to the future, it was too good an opportunity to turn down for myself and my family.”

Pembury-born Williams met a number of fans at Priestfield to help reveal the club’s new pink third kit. The Gills teased his signing out on social media before announcing it.

“First impressions is that it’s lovely people,” he said.

“When you take football away that is what remains.

“They are lovely people, people you want to work with every day.

“Every day you want to enjoy your life, life is too short. I have always wanted to it, coming home and playing for Gillingham. To get this opportunity now with a man that cares a lot about the club and has put a lot into it already and to see the change from January onwards.

“I want to be a part of that in the next three years and be part of the success and I will be giving 110% to do so.”

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