Jerry Gill- “If they get offered any amount of money at the moment, it will have to be taken.”
Since the start of the millennium, Blues’ fans have been lucky enough to have seen several hard working, determined right backs put on the royal blue shirt like Jeff Kenna and Stephen Carr. The first player of this type at St. Andrews in recent times, Jerry Gill, is disappointed to see key players leave the club due to the “ownership issues” at the club.
In an exclusive interview with Sports- Radio Birmingham, the former Blues fan’s favourite explained how it was difficult to see players like Curtis Davies and Nathan Redmond set to leave St. Andrews. “I think the better players are unfortunately going to have to leave, and that’s fact until the ownership issues are dealt with.
“The bigger players and the players with higher wages will want to play in the Premier League and if they’re good enough to play there, they will have to leave, which is a difficult thing for Lee (Clark).
“If they get offered any amount of money at the moment, it will have to be taken.
“They have to balance the books and find suitable players to replace them on a small budget, which is a very difficult job, but I’m sure he will do a good job of that.”
Despite the sales of key players, Gill is hopeful of another season of consolidation without challenging at the top after looking back at what happened last season. “It has been an interesting season and Lee (Clark) did a fantastic job in really difficult circumstances.
“With the financial climate of the club at the moment he has had to ‘wheel and deal’ and sign free transfers and pretty much go with the squad he has already.
“Hopefully it is a consolidation next season as I don’t really see to club pushing for promotion until we get the stuff sorted behind the scenes. Once that happens we’ll be able to push on again.”
After not playing in the football league until he was 27, when he first moved to Birmingham City from Yeovil in 1997, Jerry has been pleased to see young players getting a chance in the first team at his former club compared to other professional sides. “It’s great. Players now would think there’s an opportunity now in this set up, which doesn’t happen very often at academies, a lot of money is spent on them yet youngsters don’t often come through and play.
“(Mitch) Hancox is in there at the moment, (Callum) Reilly has been playing so there are good lads in that system playing first team football.
“If I was a young kid in that academy now I would be looking forward to getting first team opportunities at this club.”
As a player who gave his all on the pitch and played alongside many experienced heads, the Worthington Cup runner up was pleased to hear of Paul Robinson’s appointment as club captain. “He is a great choice. I played against Paul a lot, and he’s now been converted as a centre half from a left back position and has done a great job of it.
“He has a wealth of experience and many Premier League games under his belt, which he can bring to the table.
“The way he is and his professionalism will rub off on the young kids coming through.”
During Jerry Gill’s spell at The Blues he struggled to get into the side at first, but predicts a different start to Neal Eardley’s Birmingham career after the right back signed from Blackpool on a free transfer. “Two or three years ago he was a real hot property. He is an exciting modern day full back who likes to get forward whenever he can, so I’m sure he will be a great acquisition for the club.
“I thought Paul Caddis had done well last season, but it was unfortunate that we couldn’t quite do that deal.
“Eardley does look a worthy replacement and I can see him slot quite nicely into the team.”
At the moment Jerry is working at Norwich City as a first team scout under former Blues’ boss Chris Hughton to gain more valuable skills needed to follow the coaching career path he is really keen to get back into, “I’ve done a lot of European trips, Championship and all levels of football in this country as well.
“I’m staying extremely busy on the road watching games and players, which as a young coach is a great learning curve.
“I’ve been and done all my coaching badges now and that is where I really see myself. I enjoy working with the U18s and Development Squad occasionally and hopefully that is where I’ll end up.
“I enjoy working for Chris (Hughton) and the Blues’ fans are fully aware of his work and what he has done, so it is a good job for me to be in and a great team to work for.
“Hopefully a coaching role will come up sooner rather than later.”
With his current links to Norwich, Gill believes that new Birmingham City signing Tom Adeyemi will make a name for himself at the B9 club. ““I’ve spoken to a few people about him and it is a great chance for the lad who has been in the system at Norwich for many years so to get a move to the Championship is fantastic for him.
“He’s an athlete and he will be another good acquisition for the club.
“Once they get out of a system it can be a testing time for a player’s career, but this is the time when he needs to step up to the plate and because he has signed for two years, Tom will have time to settle and become a massive success for the club.”
With Jerry itching to get back into coaching and management again following spells at Weymouth, Bristol Rovers and Kidderminster Harriers, the question arose of a possible return to St. Andrews in some capacity, but the 42 year old refused to rule it out as an even bigger smile began to grow across his face. “I would certainly love to comeback one day, you never know with football. One day if an opportunity arises you never know what may happen.
“It is certainly a club I have fond memories of and I’m sure if anything happened in the future it would be welcomed by fans and me.
“There are a lot of people out there looking for jobs or chances higher up, but I’m on the road at the moment as a coach so which ever pathway I’m given I’ll have to take and look forward to the future.”