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Bonner appointed Gillingham boss
Bonner appointed Gillingham boss

Gillingham have announced the appointment of former Cambridge United manager Mark Bonner as the new boss at Priestfield.

The 38 year old joins on a two year deal and replaces Stephen Clemence who was shown the door by The Gills last Monday after only six months in charge.

Bonner will be largely unknown to many Gillingham fans having had a long coaching career with Cambridge United and was ultimately appointed as their manager in 2020.

His time with the U’s came to an end in November 2023 and was replaced by former Gills manager Neil Harris.

Bonner comes to Priestfield with a reputation for wanting to play attractive football and three years management experience.

In the 201 games he was in charge at Cambridge United, Bonner won 77, drew 43 and lost 81 giving him a win percentage of 38.31%.

His first task will be to see which of the current Gillingham squad he wishes to keep, those that are under contract that he would like to try to move on and which transfer targets he would like to bring to the club before the new League Two season starts again in August.

Bonner is expected to liaise with Kenny Jackett, Andy Hessenthaler, Brad Galinson and Joe Comper in what his squad shape and size will be with an announcement on the retained list expected by the end of the week.

Managing Director Joe Comper said: “We are thrilled that Mark has agreed to join us. He has the experience to get us where we want to go.”

“We were specifically looking for a leader with direct experience playing successfully in League Two.”

“We were also looking for someone who had promoted a team out of the League and had the skills to build that sort of ambitious culture.”

After arriving at Priestfield, Bonner said: “I am delighted to join Gillingham FC and can’t wait to get started as Manager, as we get to work on preparing for the new season and building a team that supporters enjoy watching and a culture that the players love being part of.”

“I have to thank Brad and Shannon for this opportunity and look forward to working closely with them, Joe, and Kenny to achieve the ambitions of the Football Club.”

The Club reacted quickly last week, engaging in a collaborative process to appoint Bonner. According to Director of Football Kenny Jackett: “I am thrilled to welcome Mark to Gillingham. Mark is a strategist and a thinker.”

“He has proven himself in League One and League Two. He has a vision and an expertise on getting the most out of his players.”

“I look forward to collaborating with Mark during this very important recruiting window. He has a specific way he wants to play and our department will do its best to give him what he needs.”

Picture supplied by Gillingham Football Club.