Congratulations, Bradley: you’ve been named our League One Player of the Season. What’s been the key to your success in 2015-16? My success is down to the staff and the other players at Gillingham. Without them, what I’ve been able to do this season wouldn’t have been possible. We’ve had a good season, and have been in the top four since our first game against Sheffield United.
You’ve scored more goals this season than any other – what’s made the difference?
The gaffer [Justin Edinburgh] has given me a lot more freedom than I had last year and that has definitely helped me. He has played me in that No.10 role; this is the first season I’ve had that much freedom. In the past I’ve been moved out to the left or the right to accommodate the formation. The manager is putting a lot of faith in me and is playing me in my best position, and I think everyone can see the benefits of that. I’ve also got a lot fitter this year, which has allowed me to get into the penalty area, create and score more goals. The gaffer said he wanted me to get into the box more; he thought I could have got a few more goals last season so he said he wanted me to build on it. That’s what I’ve done.
Which of your goals has been your favourite so far in this campaign?
It’d have to be one against Sheffield United in the first game of the season. We won 4-0 and probably put a marker down. It was the last minute and normally I would keep the ball in the corner, but we were 3-0 up so I opted to have a go. I cut inside from the left and managed to bend it into the top corner. You’ve been labelled ‘the League One Frank Lampard’ by some Gillingham supporters. What do you make of that comparison? It’s lovely to hear that. I like to half-base my game on Frank Lampard’s – what he has done in his career has just been unbelievable. To get 20-plus goals every season in the Premier League for years is unbelievable for a midfielder. If I can have half the career he’s had, then I’ll have done all right.
Is it true you had the chance to play cricket for Kent when you were younger?
Yeah, it was when I was 13 or 14. They saw me playing in a school game and invited me for a trial. I was enjoying cricket and at the time things weren’t going well at my football club, so I didn’t know what to do. But I decided not to go, and put my head down and concentrated on football. I sometimes play cricket in the summer – not to a competitive standard; just for fun on a sunny day. Around the same time, you were released by Charlton. Was that something that has helped to drive you on? Absolutely. To get that bad news when I was only a kid knocked my confidence back quite a lot. I returned to playing Sunday League football with my pals, because I just wanted to start enjoying my football again. That’s when Gillingham saw me and picked me up. After that, I made it my goal to prove people wrong at Charlton, and I’m well on my way to doing that now.