Former Lincoln man John Schofield happy to be part of Gills team

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Gillingham’s new assistant manager John Schofield is hoping to play his part in taking the club to the next level.

The 47-year-old has linked up with new boss Martin Allen for the second time in his career.

The pair worked together at Cheltenham Town in 2009 where he worked as Allen’s assistant.

It was a whirlwind start for the man who spent the majority of his playing days at Lincoln where he made 231 appearances in six years in the early 1990s.

He made a mad dash down from his home in Lincoln to put together a training programme last Thursday.

“I took a call on the Wednesday from the gaffer saying he’d got the job and would I be interested in speaking to him? He said we are starting in the morning, normal time,” he said.

“I was up at three in the morning and here at 6am to do a training programme, I met the chairman at 10.30am, then met the players at 2.30pm and it was 8pm, or 9pm that night that we finished. It’s been full on.”

He took training sessions over the weekend which included a swimming session at the Strand Leisure Pool, before joining the rest of the squad on an excursion to Le Touquet in the north of France for a four-day training trip, from which they will return on Tuesday.

He is hoping they can build on the foundations laid by former boss Andy Hessenthaler.

“It’s about making a difference and pushing the club forward, that’s what we are aiming to achieve,” he said. “We have been getting to know the players, making sure we get our philosophy into them right for pre-season.

“The training ground is good, and facilities around the place are lovely. Now we want to move it forward again.”

But before the season starts there is plenty of hard work to get through: “It’s about injury prevention, aerobic levels, and getting the maximum out of the players.

“As an assistant, your role is to support the manager with discussions and communications. You work together to formulate a game plan, you spend the early part of the week drip feeding the players that information.

“I’ll be organising the coaching and fitness levels, working with Patto (Mark Patterson) and the development group to make sure they’re continually progressing.”

Another new member of the backroom staff is strength and conditioning coach James Russell who is a former pupil at St John Fisher School in Chatham. He worked with Allen at Notts County.

Youth team physio James Barker has been promoted to look after first team affairs, replacing Steve Allen who joined the club in 2010 when Andy Hessenthaler became boss.



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