21 goals after moving to Priestfield Stadium, it is fair to say that Simeon Jackson has had little difficulty in adapting to life in the Football League. His three goals in the play-offs were the only three goals that Gillingham scored in the games, and earned the Gills promotion to League 1 – more than making up for his £150,000 move from Nene Park.
(Below, Simeon Jackson scores the last-minute winner at Wembley, sending his team up)
However it is on the international stage that Simeon has really begun to make his presence felt. In November of last year he made his first international appearance, playing for the full Canadian team, and six months later he scored his first goal. At the moment he is in the USA, playing out the CONCACAF Gold Cup – North and Central America’s equivalent of the European Championship.
The Canadians’s success at the tournament has surprised pundits and fans. Tipped not to make it past the group stage, after beating Jamaica (Simeon’s place of birth) and El Salvador, and drawing with Costa Rica (with Simeon playing in each game, playing 120 minutes of competitive international football so far), Canada find themselves up against Hondoras in the quarter-finals – a team some 46 places above them in the FIFA World Rankings, but surely nothing to fear after going unbeaten thus far.
As much as it is nice to see ex-Diamonds do well for themselves, there is an obvious benefit to us if Simeon continues to impress. With a percentage of his next transfer fee coming to us (be it 15%-25%, I’m not too sure) financially his moving upwards is vital to us. With Simeon half-way through his contract at Gillingham it is likely that he will be sold in the near future – especially if he impresses during next season’s League 1 campaign. With Man City and Man United offering him trials in the past, and Martin O’Neil rumoured to be after him in the past, clubs are well aware of his potential and a big fee is likely. If a club offers Gillingham £1m, Rushden will pocked £150,000-£250,000 depending on the next-fee clause. Not bad, for a player whose initial transfer gave us £150,000 up front.
Fergie, you’re looking for a striker, right?!