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Page last updated at 09:23 GMT, Monday, 27 June 2011 10:23 UK

Gillingham assistant Ian Hendon justifies busy pre-season

Ian Hendon
Hendon was Barnet manager between 2008 and 2010

Gillingham assistant manager Ian Hendon says last season's slow start is the reason behind his side's busy pre-season schedule.

The first of 14 pre-season friendlies in a four week period is against Ashford Utd on 6 July.

Hendon told BBC Radio Kent: "We didn't have a good start last season, and that (match fitness) could have been a part of it.

"We're believers you get fitness in matches so we've put lots of games in."

He added: "We've changed things round a bit, plenty of games, but not all the players will play in every game."

"Not only that, a lot of the clubs we are playing games against are local clubs, they all want friendlies and it is a bit of revenue for them as well, so we're putting a bit back in as well."

The League Two club have three friendlies at home. Millwall come to Priestfield on 23 July, Leyton Orient are the opponents three days later and Championship new boys Peterborough face the Gills on 30 July.

The club will also send the first team squad to Bromley, Dartford, Weymouth, Welling United , Braintree Town, Faversham Town and Ebbsfleet United.

They will also field a side in friendlies at Erith & Belvedere, Ramsgate and Tonbridge Angels.

Their first game of the league two season is at home to Cheltenham on Saturday 6 August.

Hendon added talk of AFC Wimbledon captain Danny Kedwell joining Gillingham is premature, although the club would be interested in signing the striker.

Hendon added: "Personally I've watched the lad a few times as part of my job, I watch a lot of games, he's a good hard-working centre forward and can score goals.

"If they've accepted his request and he is available I am sure he could be of interest to us."

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see also
Dons start against Bristol Rovers
17 Jun 11 |  League Two
Gills budget cut - Hessenthaler
19 May 11 |  Gillingham
Gills insist season not a failure
06 May 11 |  Gillingham

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