LEAGUE One strugglers Gillingham and Port Vale want to make former Grays Athletic boss Mark Stimson their new manager.

The ex Southend United and Canvey Island defender is on the Gills shortlist as the Kent club seeks to find a replacement for Ronnie Jepson, who left the Priestfield Stadium last month.

However Blue Square Premier club Stevenage Borough, managed by Stimson, have refused Gillingham chairman Paul Scally's request for permission to speak to the 39-year-old.

Meanwhile, League One rivals Port Vale are also rumoured to be interested in making Stimson their new manager following the sacking of Martin Foyle.

As a player Stimson helped knock the Valiants, who went down to a 2-1 home defeat to Southend on Saturday, out of the FA Cup in November 2000.

Stimson has a fine managerial record, winning three consecutive FA Trophies with Grays and Stevenage while also guiding the Blues from the Ryman League to the Conference National play-offs in under three seasons.

In his time at the New Rec he was linked with several league managerial jobs, including Peterborough United and Milton Keynes.