Back by popular (ish) demand is our series ‘From The Other Side’, where a rival fan steps into the firing line and answers 10 questions from Vital Gillingham.
In the absence of a Vital Huddersfield editor for me to badger, my work colleague Gaz has kindly answered the questions for us… Trust me, he’s not as nice about us in the flesh. And he will owe me beer at the end of the season…
So, here goes…
1. You fell just short of promotion last year. Do you think Peter Jackson will lead you to glory this time around?
It is hard to say. Last season we started with aplomb and Pawel Abbott was scoring for fun but as soon as his goals dried up so did our form. From Christmas we were little better than a side battling against relegation.
That said, since Jacko returned three years ago we have finished higher in the League each season and I would expect us to at least be in the play-offs again.
2. You’ve signed Luke Beckett. What sort of impact do you think he will have for you this season?
He is a natural born penalty area predator and is a proven scorer. As long as we provide him with the necessary service he will deliver the goods.
3. Andy Booth? He’s still alive? Wow. How big a role will he have to play this season?
The Legend scored 15 goals last season which is a great return for any striker. He is in his testimonial year and is also out of contract next summer so will be desperate to prove he is not yet over the hill. He helps out in defence and while I don’t expect him to score 15 again this season, he will have a big part to play for us once again.
4. Have you signed anyone else? What other areas do you still think need strengthening?
We signed Matt Glennon from St Johnstone to put the pressure on Paul Rachubka, who had a disappointing season last time out. Glennon appears to be far more vocal so this does appear to be a good signing. However, we are crying out for a holding midfielder of some experience and until this player arrives, I can’t see us going up automatically.
5. Your pre-season results have hardly set the world alight, do you fear it could be a sign of things to come?
Not at all. We had a shocking pre-season when Steve Bruce first took over and then we set the Championship alight! (Before it all slipped away towards the end of the season!!) In contrast our first pre-season under Mick Wadsworth was superb and then we slumped into the basement division. We have kept clean sheets which is always good so I’m happy with how things have gone.
6. Which sides do you think will challenge at the top this season?
If our cracks in midfield can be sufficiently papered over then we will be up there. Millwall have signed a lot of players and could challenge, Bristol City should be thereabouts along with Nottingham Forest whilst I can also see one of the promoted sides doing well, as there always seems to be one who carries on their momentum towards a finish in the top six in League One.
7. Ronnie Jepson is a bit of a hero up your way. What are your memories of his spell with you?
An absolute legend and made Andy Booth into the striker he was in his prime. Jepson was, and still is, a brilliant character who loved Huddersfield Town and it showed. His goals, along with the emerging Boothys’, shot us up into the Championship and it is characters like ‘Rocket Ron’ that the game needs more of.
8. Where do you think the Gills will finish this season?
Gills, like us the season before, finished the campaign in impressive form and will no doubt carry that on into the start of the season. The crucial thing I see is that Gillingham have a thin squad and if it is not bolstered when injuries and suspension hit I can see their challenge fading towards the end of the season. Therefore I predict 9th.
9. Who are the men we should be afraid of on Saturday?
Luke Beckett as he can score from nothing as long as the ball is in the box, and Danny Schofield – on his day easily one of the most skillfull wingers in League One.
10. What will be the final score?
We never win a) our opening day fixture and b )any game at Priestfield therefore a 2-1 defeat for the Terriers is what my head says!