Vadaine Oliver reveals reason for leaving Cobblers for Gillingham after play-off final win

Striker loved his time at Sixfields but felt moving on was the ‘right thing to do’

By James Heneghan
Tuesday, 28th June 2022, 11:29 am
Updated Tuesday, 28th June 2022, 11:35 am

Striker Vadaine Oliver has explained why he chose to leave Cobblers for Gillingham in the summer of 2020, just months after helping Keith Curle’s team to play-off final glory at Wembley.

Signed from Morecambe the previous summer, the 30-year-old was a revelation in his only season at Sixfields and started at Wembley as Cobblers thrashed Exeter 4-0 to win promotion to League One. He left just weeks later, rejecting a new deal to join League One Gillingham.

Speaking to Gillingham fan channel @GillsInTheBlood, Oliver explained: "I had a good chat with the gaffer (Steve Evans) on the phone at the time. I was coming off a great year with Northampton and I also spoke to Keith.

"Me and Keith have a great bond and he wanted to keep me and I would loved to have stayed there but he said his hands were tied in terms of what he could do and which players he could keep.

"We had built such a strong team bond and we ended up getting promoted and it was a great squad we had but I knew the majority of the squad wouldn’t be able to stay. I was offered a new deal with two other players but I just said ‘look, that’s just going to be too big a miss’ because it was going to be a big change after having such a great season.

"I then had the chat with Steve Evans and he wanted to build on what I did the previous season and go for promotion with Gillingham and he felt they could do that with me as the spearhead of the attack.

"That was obviously music to my ears after the season I had just had. The feeling of promotion is unbelievable and I just felt it was the right thing to do. It was always going to be hard to move away from the family and that but it was the right career move for me.”

Keith Curle and Vadaine Oliver

You can watch the full interview with Oliver here –