Conor Wilkinson has endured a fairly nomadic existence during his short career as a footballer.
After joining Bolton Wanderers, he spent numerous spells out on loan with Oldham, Barnsley, Chester, and, most recently, Chesterfield but he has finally been able to put down some roots at Priestfield. He netted his first league goal for the Gills at Walsall on November 18th and that strike surely won’t be the last for the talented 22-year-old.
— Gillingham FC (@TheGillsFC) November 19, 2017
Wilkinson appears to be enjoying life under new manager Steve Lovell, who has helped lift the Gills off the bottom of the League One table. He’s netted twice under Lovell’s tutelage with a goal during their topsy-turvy 7-5 success in the Checkatrade Trophy and the aforementioned winner against the Saddlers. His coach is confident those goals can be the first of many in a Gillingham shirt.
Lovell admitted he was delighted to see Wilkinson get off the mark in League One and added that the striker has scored a number of ‘worldies’ in training and during practice matches.
Goals have been a real issue for the Kent outfit this season, with just 15 strikes during their first 19 matches, although they’ve found the back of the net in every game since the new manager took charge. Their new-found confidence in front of goal has helped move them out of the bottom four as they bid to remain in the third tier.
Another season in League One could mean a reunion for Wilkinson with his former employers Bolton Wanderers. The Trotters are struggling at the foot of the Championship, although recent improvement has seen Phil Parkinson’s men scrap their way to some vital points. They picked up a useful draw at Deepdale as correctly predicted by Oddschecker on November 17th but their thin squad and financial issues are likely to see them fall just short of safety.
— BBC Radio Kent Sport (@BBCKentSport) November 22, 2017
Wilkinson has scored goals at this level during previous loan spells, netting four times during 12 appearances with the Spirerites and twice during an 11 game stint at Boundary Park. He will be aiming to get into double figures and will be hoping his partnership with another former Bolton man, Tom Eaves can flourish during the remainder of the campaign.
He may not be prolific and some Gills fans remain divided on the frontman but, at just 22 years old, he is still developing and Lovell’s tactics have certainly helped get more out of the former Trotter.
He is off the mark for the season and, with a number of crucial games approaching, he could yet prove the match-winner on a number of occasions this campaign.