Simon Gillett

#88819319 / gettyimages.com

Simon Gillett is an English midfielder who was born in Oxford on 6th November 1985. Gillett started his career at Southampton. The 5ft 6 man made his senior football debut on 1st October 2005, whilst on loan at Walsall. After a short loan spell at The Bescot, Gillett returned to Southampton to make his debut on 28th January 2006, in an FA Cup tie against Leicester. He acquitted himself well after coming on for David Prutton, helping Saints to a late 1-0 win.

Gillett joined League 1 Blackpool on loan for 3 months in August 2006. The midfielder scored his first ever senior goal for The Seasiders on 12th September against Chesterfield. He also received his first ever red card during his loan spell at Bloomfield Road on 21th October, after two bookings against Crewe. On 23rd November Gillett joined Bournemouth for a short loan spell, and ironically scored against former side Blackpool on 23rd December. Gillett rejoined Simon Grayson's Blackpool on loan in early 2007. He appeared mainly from the bench in the final months of 2006/07, including in the 2-0 play-off final win against Yeovil.

Gillett moved to Yeovil on loan on September 20th 2007, making 5 appearances for the Somerset club. He returned to Southampton in the New Year and made his league debut on 11th March 2008, against Leicester when he replaced Stern John in the final minutes of the game. His only other appearance that season came four days later, from the bench again, in a 5-0 defeat at Hull.

Gillett was given an extended run in a new look Southampton side for the 2008/09 season. He was one of Saints top performers in the early weeks of the season, and looked particularly impressive at Derby on August 23rd, helping his side to a 1-0 win. Like many of the young players in the side though, Gillett struggled to keep the good early form going, and couldn't stop the club from being relegated to League 1 in April. He played 30 matches in all during the campaign, and was one of the clubs better performers (Although that wasn't really saying much).

Gillett appeared in Alan Pardew's first game in charge in the opening day of the season draw against Millwall on 8th August 2009 as a substitute. It soon became apparent however, that Pardew didn't rate Gillett too highly. The small midfielder was stuck behind Morgan Schneiderlin, Dean Hammond and Paul Wotton in the pecking order and only appeared on three further occasions before an October loan move to Doncaster, who were actually playing one division higher than League 1 Southampton. Gillett had a successful spell at The Keepmoat, playing 11 times in total. The midfielder returned to Saints in the New Year and played two more games for the club, one against Ipswich in the FA Cup, and one at Wembley in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final win against Carlisle, where he replaced Papa Waigo late in the game. Gillett was released by Southampton on 13th May 2010.

Gillett rejoined Doncaster on 7th July 2010, signing a two year deal with the South Yorkshire club. His second spell at the club didn't get off to the best start, as the midfielder was sent off on the opening day of the season at Preston. Gillett did grab his first goal for the club shortly after however, when he opened the scoring in a 2-2 draw at Watford on September 11th. He missed a large chunk of 2010/11 through injury suffered in a game against Derby in October, but returned in March to take his total appearances of the season to 22. Gillett was one of the few shining lights in Doncaster's 2011/12 Championship relegation season. He was named the club's player of the season and was an ever present in an otherwise traumatic campaign for the club.