The Blackpool manager may be rueing the departure of midfield mainstay Charlie Adam to Liverpool, but he had good cause for renewed optimism about a promotion push next season after persuading Gilks to stay.
Staying put: Matt Gilks is set to extend his stay at Bloomfield Road by signing a new contract
Aston Villa, Leeds and Swansea had all expressed an interest in Gilks after Blackpool failed to agree new terms with him, in the wake of their relegation from the Barclays Premier League.
But Holloway underlined his regard for the commanding keeper, who turned 29 last month, by convincing his board they should offer him improved terms.
Desperate to retain as many of last season's leading lights as possible, Holloway heaved a sigh of relief after Gilks relented over seeking a fresh start and put his name to a new three-year deal.
Blackpool's bright start to their first Premier League campaign last season began to falter after Gilks suffered a serious knee injury in the goalless draw at West Ham in November.
Hands on: Gilks was impressive for Blackpool in the Premier League last season winning many admirers
As he prepared to welcome him back against Wigan five months later,
Holloway said: 'I can't tell you how much we have missed him. It's not just his ability to make saves and command his area, he is such a good organiser who keeps everyone on their toes.'
With Adam finally completing his move to Liverpool, and Portsmouth making an approach for experienced central defender Ian Evatt, Holloway can at least count on the services of one high-profile member of his previous promotion-winning squad for another tilt at going up next season.
Veteran Phillips to join Blackpool as Holloway looks for Premier League returnPortsmouth and Birmingham to fight it out for Southampton's PuncheonMcLeish eyes move for Etherington to plug gaps as Villa Park exodus continuesAll the latest Aston Villa news, features and opinion