Gillingham sign Ryan Jackson
Ryan Jackson rejoins the Gills after previously playing for them between 2015 and 2017 | Photo by Alex Davidson - Getty Images

Gillingham have completed the signing of defender Ryan Jackson, who returns to Priestfield for a second stint at the club.

Jackson, 30, who played for Gillingham between 2015 and 2017, joins the Gills on a free transfer following his release from Colchester United.

The Player

Jackson went through the academy at AFC Wimbledon and played for the first team as well as Fleetwood, Cambridge and Macclesfield before finding his feet at Newport County after joining them in 2013 under Gills boss to be Justin Edinburgh.

He enjoyed two successful seasons with the Welsh outfit before following Edinburgh, who had become Gillingham manager at the start of 2015, to Priestfield.

After leaving the club in 2017, he signed for Colchester United in League Two and soon established himself as one of the best right-backs in the division.

He helped United to a sixth place finish last season, but, following a loss to Exeter City in the play-off semi-final, was released after three years at the club due to budget concerns because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The return

Jackson is well known to Gills fans and endured differing campaigns during his two years in ME7.

He made his debut for the club in a 4-0 home win over Sheffield United on the opening day of the 2015/16 season and helped the Blues achieve a respectful ninth place finish that season.

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He did though, like others, struggle for consistency the following year as the Gills avoided relegation on the final day of the season, finishing 20th.

He was released by then manager Adrian Pennock at the end of the season after making 80 appearances for the club, scoring three goals. 

Reaction

Gillingham manager Steve Evans, via the club website, said: “We are really pleased; he needs no introduction from me to Gills fans.

“The kid had four or five options and at one point I thought he was drifting but we got it back on track and he’s signed and joined us.

“I have spoken to two or three lads that have played for me and Paul [Raynor, assistant manager] at previous clubs who played in League Two last year and they were raving about him.”

Jackson himself tweeted: “Delighted to be back at Gillingham. Had some great memories here! Looking forward to get going.”

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