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Gills will always have a place in my heart - but I want to beat them

Dack looking forward to going back to old turf ahead of Gillingham trip

9 April 2018

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Rovers star Bradley Dack is looking forward to going back to old territory on Saturday, but insists his full focus is on putting one over his old employers - should he be available to play.

Dack limped off with what looked like a hamstring injury in the weekend win against Southend United, and will be hoping to feature against his old team.

The playmaker spent seven years as a Gillingham player after coming through the youth system at the Kent club before making the move to Rovers in the summer.

Tuesday night could see the 24-year-old return to Priestfield Stadium for the first time since his departure and it's a game he can't wait to hopefully play a part in.

“I’m really looking forward to it. It’s obviously one that’s been on my mind for a while now," he admitted to iFollow Rovers.

“It’s going to be a tough game, because I know that it’s a tough place to play at, but we go there full of confidence and hopefully we can get the three points.

“I have a lot of good memories and also some not so good ones from there. But on the whole, it was my first club and it has a place in my heart and always will have.

“I’m a Rovers player now and I’ve really enjoyed this season, but it will be nice to go back. 

“I’m hoping for a good reception. I’m sure I’ll get a decent one. I think everyone understood it was the right time for me to leave and obviously I had some great memories with the club, so I think I’ll be fine.

“It would be lovely to get a goal down there, but the most important thing is to win the game.”

So what memories does Brad have from his time with the Gills? Mostly good ones, according to the man himself.

“Starting from when I was 18, I managed to break into the first team under Martin Allen, who gave me my chance in football," he added. "I will always have those memories and obviously getting promoted in my first season was a good feeling.

“It was League Two, but still to get a promotion under your belt in your first season in professional football was obviously a great achievement.

“After that I think we battled against relegation for a few seasons and then I had a good season a couple of years ago and we couldn’t quite get over the line.

“I think it was the right time for me to move on in the end. I just think I felt that I’d gone a bit stale as a footballer. I think maybe I’d stopped learning a little bit and I just needed a new challenge and a fresh start at a club that I felt could go on to bigger and better things."

And the playmaker believes he's developed as a Rovers player since his summer move to East Lancashire from the Gills, but it came after a tricky beginning to life at Ewood Park.

“Rovers are obviously a massive club, the history of the club is unbelievable and you come here to the training ground and the stadium is on a different level and that’s why I was excited to sign and as soon as I heard there was interest I couldn’t wait to sign on the dotted line."

“The first couple of months were tough for me, with a couple of little injuries, and then once I got myself fit and ready to go, I think I’ve done really well and the players around me have definitely helped," he said.

“Like I said, coming to a club like this, you’re going to play with better players and I think they’ve definitely helped me and the manager has been brilliant for me and the staff as well."

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