Kyle Dempsey lifts lid on Bolton Wanderers transfer and Neil Harris Gillingham talks

Kyle Dempsey admits he would have wanted to get his move to Bolton Wanderers completed earlier than it did but the former Gillingham midfielder is pleased he got his transfer done and dusted eventually.

The 26-year-old completed his deadline day move from the Gills late in the evening after a move which had been dragged out for weeks.

He has since made two appearances for Wanderers, including starting his first game for the club in midweek in the victory over Charlton Athletic.

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Dempsey, who has put pen to paper on a two-and-a-half year deal at the University of Bolton Stadium, admits he had some doubts and frustration in the final week of the transfer window as to whether the move would get over the line or not.

But he is glad to finally be at Ian Evatt’s side and believes his final games at the Gills has helped prepare him for his move back to his native North West.

He said: “Probably the last week of the window, I had several conversations with my chairman and there were sort of moments were I felt like it wasn’t going to get over the line.

“I think the most frustrating part was the fact that I knew it was there, I knew the move could be happening. I started seeing the team doing really well as well, and I just wanted to obviously be part of that.

“But there was always that duty, I was the captain of the club and I needed to deliver on a day-to-day basis to try and get the club out of where we were. There were times where I didn’t think it (the move) was going to happen but there was also relief at the end to get it over the line and I’m just buzzing to be here to be honest.

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“It was one of them which was there for a couple of weeks. Ideally I’d have probably liked to get it over the line earlier, get settled in with the squad, get a couple of games under my belt, but I think to get it over the line was the main thing.

“It was a long process, a long day on deadline day. I had to pack up my apartment, get all my stuff up, so it was a stressful day but I was glad to get it over the line.

“It was one of them where it wasn’t definite. I knew the interest was there. I knew they were keen to get me in the building, but my job as a footballer is to play games.

“The situation that we were in at Gillingham, I was never going to let my teammates down, I was never going to let the club down and also I was coming back from injury and them games were important for me to build up my match fitness up.

“I think me as a player, me as a character, I was the captain of the club as well, I had a duty and I tried my hardest until the very end to give my best that I could in the time that I was there .

“I’m glad to be back up North. It’s where my family is and all my mates, so I’m happy up here.”

Dempsey’s move came on the day that Neil Harris was confirmed as the club’s new boss, replacing Steve Lovell who was previously in caretaker charge at Priestfield.

Dempsey revealed conversations with Harris on deadline day to put across his thoughts on his future and made it clear that he wanted to move to Wanderers to the new man in the dugout at the Gills.

The former Gills captain believes he gave his all for his now former club right up until the very end of his time there, which he believes other players may not have done in the same situation.

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He said: “I went in on deadline day in the morning to have a chat with him and it is hard to have those sort of conversations with a manager who has just come into the building.

“To be fair, he was top quality. He told me he wanted to keep me at the club and I was honest, I said my mind was already made up.

“It is a great club here with great facilities, the fans are obviously unbelievable, and another thing was that it was back up north and that is where I feel most comfortable. I’d never have a bad word against Gillingham because they got me back to being a goalscorer, a creative midfielder, and I always knew I could do that so now it’s about turning that into a Bolton shirt.

“I think it was just sort of the repetition of conversations I had to have in the dressing room and stuff like that. But me as a character and a player, I knew the position we were in as a club and I was just trying my hardest to deliver what I could on the pitch to try and get us out of that.

“I think all Gillingham fans saw, especially my last game, I delivered a man of the match performance and put my body on the line, which some players probably wouldn’t in the situation I was in – all it takes is one nasty tackle and my move would have been put off.So I gave it everything until the very end of my contract there.

“I think we had been very unlucky this season, and there was a time when 12 senior players were out with injury, main figures. The way we were on it was becoming harder to deliver what I wanted to in a game.

“There were a lot of games where we were being dominated and it is hard as a midfield player to get involved when games are like that.

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“I am not going to be one to use excuses. My main focus is coming here and getting more of the ball, expressing myself and getting among the goals and assists.”

Dempsey has joined Wanderers who are currently in the midst of a six game unbeaten run and seeking to extend it to seven this weekend on the road.

And Dempsey is seeking to maintain the present good run of form the club are on as they head to the Kassam Stadium to take on the U’s.

He said: “I think since I’ve been in, the focus and the mentality of the group is just to win as many games as we can until the end of the year. I think that’s got to be the main focus moving forward and you’ve just got to see where it takes you in the table.

“I think as footballers you’re brought into the building to make an impression and to make an impact, so all you can do is give your best, show what you’re about and hopefully help the team to many more wins until the end of the year.”

“I think it’s just to maintain the form that we’re on, continue the unbeaten streak and just to climb up the table as much as we can.

“The momentum which we’ve got at the minute and the form we’re in, we’re going there high in confidence and we’ve just got to deliver the best that we can and come away with the three points.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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