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Bond heading to Priestfield on loan

26 August 2016

Goalkeeper links up with the Gills until the new year

Royals goalkeeper Jonathan Bond has today joined League 1 side Gillingham on a loan spell until the new year.

The stopper links up with the Kent club on a stint which will run until 7th January 2017 – and the paperwork was completed in time for him to be eligible to travel with his new teammates and play away at Shrewsbury tomorrow.

The Gills, who had Dominic Samuel on loan at Priestfield last season, made a bright start to the new campaign by taking seven points from their first three fixtures – but last weekend they shipped five goals in a heavy defeat at Scunthorpe.  They went some way to making amends in midweek when Bradley Dack’s extra-time goal knocked Premier League side Watford out of the EFL Cup.

And now their squad is bolstered by the arrival of the 23-year-old stopper, who could debut at Greenhous Meadow tomorrow against the Shrews.

Bond arrived at Madejski Stadium from Watford during the summer of 2015 and made 14 Championship appearances during his maiden season.  During the current campaign, he has twice occupied the bench for the first team as well as playing three times for our Under-23 squad, including a 2-0 win away Arsenal.

He could potentially play as many as 22 fixtures in League 1 for Gillingham before his loan spell ends after a home fixture against AFC Wimbledon in January.

We wish Jonathan and Gillingham the very best of luck for his spell in Kent.

Meanwhile striker Sam Smith, who signed his first pro contract this summer after graduating from the Academy Under-18 squad, has linked up with Bishop’s Stortford on a three-month loan.

Smith could make his first appearance in the National League South tomorrow at Gosport Borough, and may be tasked with trying to beat Royals teammate Lewis Ward next month, when they face the goalkeeper’s loan club Margate.  The striker’s loan is due to end on 27th November.

Aaron Kuhl, who was loaned to Boreham Wood last week, could make his first start at Gateshead on Saturday after coming off the bench in a 1-1 draw against Chester, while Cambridge loanee Sean Long could face another of his former loan sides in Luton when they visit Abbey Stadium.

And Craig Tanner and Rob Dickie, who have re-joined their loan clubs from last season - Plymouth and Cheltenham - could make their returns in League 2 this weekend; the Pilgrims visit Blackpool and Cheltenham host Crewe.

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