Gillingham appoint Stephen Clemence as head coach

Wednesday 01st November 2023

GILLINGHAM have appointed Stephen Clemence as their new first team head coach.

Clemence, 45, the son of former England goalkeeper Ray Clemence, arrives at Priestfield having coached at a number of clubs, many of which in the Premier League.

He has worked closely with Steve Bruce at Sunderland, Hull City, Aston Villa, Sheffield Wednesday, Newcastle United and West Bromwich Albion and won promotion to the Premier League while with Hull as assistant head coach in 2016.

He coached current England International and Manchester City attacker Jack Grealish, while at Villa Park.

The former Premier League midfielder will take charge of the team for the first time on Saturday 4 Novmeber for The FA Cup First Round tie at Hereford.  His first league fixture at the helm will be next Saturday's away game against Wrexham.

As a player Clemence came through the youth ranks at Tottenham Hotspur and made his professional debut against Manchester United in the Premier League in August 1997.

He scored his first goal in a Spurs shirt in an FA Cup tie at home to Fulham in January the following year. He went on to make 108 appearances in total while at White Hart Lane, scoring three goals.

In January 2003 Birmingham City paid a reported £250,000 for his services and Clemence made 125 appearances for the club across a four-and-half year spell.

In July 2007 Leicester City paid a million pounds for his signature but, due to injury, he was limited to making just 34 appearances, scoring three times.

He decided to retire due to a heel injury in Easter of 2010. He was released by Leicester at the end of that season and the midfielder then decided on a career in coaching.

Clemence featured for England U21's on one occasion as a player, that coming as a substitute against Sweden in a 2-0 win in February 1998.

The club's new head coach will take training for the first time on Thursday. He will be assisted by Robbie Stockdale who has extensive knowledge in the EFL having coached at Grimsby Town and Sunderland. He also managed Rochdale while the team were in League Two in the 2021-22 season.

As a player he featured for Middlesbrough while in the Premier League before stints at Rotherham United and Tranmere Rovers.

Gillingham are in ninth-place in the League Two table with 25 points from 16 games and Clemence replaces former Millwall man Neil Harris, who left Priestfield Stadium on 5 October.

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