Charles-Cook leaves for Ross County
Charles-Cook leaves for Ross County

Regan Charles Cook has decided to leave Gillingham to join Scottish Premier League side Ross County.

Assistant manager Paul Raynor broke the news to KSN when we asked him for an update on the current position for the club’s five players who are waiting for firm contract offers for the new season.

Raynor told us, “The guys that are out of contract with us have all had particularly good seasons. Regan’s probably didn’t have the game time that we would have anticipated or wanted but that was mainly due to the form of Ollie Lee.”

“Young Henry (Woods) is a young player with potential who we’re looking at for the potential; Brandon Hanlan’s had a good season; Mika Mandron’s had a good season; Regan’s chipped in with important goals here and there and shown his qualities and Max Ehmer’s had his best ever season.”

“So, they would have anticipated interest from elsewhere, and so for those guys, they’re not out there with no options, but they’re all guys that we want to keep!”

“I can confirm sadly that Regan’s decided to ply his trade next season in Scotland with Ross County in the Premier Division up there and not take up an offer from us.”

“There has been an offer and there was to be a concrete offer made once our budget has been confirmed, but he’s decided to go North which is totally understandable as we couldn’t at this time give him any concrete figures – although as I say, we would have done and are working hard to do so.”

“But he’s decided that he didn’t want to wait that long – he’s got a concrete offer on the table which he’s decided to take up and we wish him good luck for the future and totally respect his decision.”

“We’ve spoken to Brandon, Mika and Max in meetings in the office obviously adhering to social distancing as we want to make the guys feel welcome – we can’t actually put numbers to them at the moment because we don’t have a playing budget as yet, but we’ve told the three of them that they are all very much part of our plans moving forward.”

“We desperately want to work with them again next year, as they’ve all had very good seasons and they all intimated how much they’d enjoyed working with us and enjoyed the season.”

“Obviously given the seasons that they’ve all had there’s going to be interest in them – we’re in there scrapping and fighting and as soon as we can put something to them concrete, we’ll do that!”

“But we’re not going to stop speculation – I’m hearing a lot that Max is signing for Bristol Rovers; he was in the office last week and told us that there’d been interest there but nothing else.”

“So, unless that changes or unless something else happens, then we’re in with a fighting chance of keeping these guys which is something that we would love to!”

“We haven’t been told as yet when we will get the confirmation of the budget, but I assume that it will come with a start date for the new season.”

“As soon as we’re given a start date, obviously you can imagine that we’re already talking to prospective players, we’re already speaking constantly to agents, constantly to prospective clubs for loan players and we’ve already started that process.”

“The only thing that we can’t actually do is physically talk numbers because we don’t know numbers as we don’t know whether we’re going to be playing in front of spectators; whether the EFL are going to wait until spectators are going to be allowed to come into grounds to give clubs an income.”

“So we have to respect that – there’s not a bottomless pit for clubs, even the bigger clubs, the Sunderland’s, your Ipswich’s – they won’t want to be playing without spectators because it doesn’t matter how wealthy these clubs are, there’s just no income for these clubs at the moment.”

“Fair play to our Chairman, he’s been fantastic as he’s keeping the club alive, let’s be honest and his prudence and his shrewdness is keeping everybody in employment with the hope of doing something good next season, so I think everybody is in the same boat – bigger clubs, smaller clubs – and as soon as we get that date, we can make plans.”

“We’re hoping the restart will be in September as I think you have to look at what the EFL might be thinking and this could be totally wrong, so please don’t take it as gospel.”

“My gut feel is that we’re hopeful of September – there have been dates brandished about – the 12th, the 26th – I heard again this week the 12th but that might be totally wrong, someone else then said it was going to be the 26th, so we don’t know.”

“I know that the Chairman is scheduled to have more remote meetings with the other League One Chairmen in the coming days to get some more ideas and plans across from the EFL as to what we do now, but we just want to be positive – we’ve obviously got to mindful of this dreadful pandemic that people are still dying from this disease every day and we’ve got to be mindful of the health implications, but we really want to get playing!”

“It’s been too long now – I know that all of the guys under contract are desperate to get going; we speak to them all the time making sure that they’re all OK, they’re all fit and all following their programmes that we’ve given to stay physically fit and to make sure that mentally, they’re being positive and being strong as it is a difficult period for everybody involved in the Club!”

Picture supplied by Gillingham Football Club.