Boss issues glistening report on ex-Portsmouth, Aston Villa, Reading and Nottingham Forest defender Nicky Shorey as head of recruitment search continues

Former Portsmouth defender Nicky Shorey has received a glowing review from Gillingham boss Neil Harris after his appointment as head of recruitment at Priestfield.

By Sam Cox
Friday, 1st April 2022, 10:49 am
Updated Friday, 1st April 2022, 11:19 am

The former Reading left-back filled the position with the League One strugglers earlier this week, with the remit of maintaining their third-tier status and cementing their position in the division.

After retiring in 2016, eight months after his 24 month Blues spell, he arrives in Kent with Danny Cowley’s side searching for their own candidate in the department.

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Despite the Italian’s exit, the PO4 chief explained how work is well underway to find a successor.

For now, though, the wait continues – while Harris has issued a glistening report on Shorey’s entrance into his backroom staff.

He told Kent Online: ‘He is a fantastic appointment at the football club.

‘Nicky knows all players at all levels of football and is going to be a huge help for us, in a summer when we have so many players out of contract.

Ex-Pompey defender Nicky Shorey has been appointed as Gillingham's head of recruitment. Picture: Joe Pepler

‘Recruitment is going to be a big part of the next five months of our lives. Nicky is a football man, he is trustworthy, he is honest, he is hard working and he has got an array of contacts at all levels of football that will help us recruit the right characters and the qualities in players that we need.

Shorey’s Gillingham arrival isn’t the first time he’s worked alongside Harris, after his short time as a scout at Millwall in 2019 – while the latter was in charge of the London club.

Although the ex-Cardiff boss is relishing the partnership, he admitted their main priority is to avoid relegation – with the Gills sat 19th in the league table.

Harris added: ‘I had been watching games and Nicky’s extensive knowledge helps with that , while we have our full focus at the moment on staying in the division and battling to pick results up every game, there has to be an element from me and my staff and the chairman, now more so the recruitment department, to look towards the summer rebuild.

‘I know his character, he worked for a period at Millwall when I was manager there. Even though I didn’t work with him every day, I am familiar with how he works and I trust his eye for a player and his football knowledge. We want to recruit not just the right characters on the pitch but off it as well.’

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