Bradley Dack adamant the academy setup will bring through more home grown players

Bradley Dack is hoping the set up of the academy will produce more home grown talent in years to come.

He and Jake Hessenthaler have progressed through the system at MEMS Priestfield Stadium and have benefited from a strong coaching ethic from a young age, and Bradley says there are several more waiting in the wings for their opportunity.

Speaking to the club’s official website he said: “It’s brilliantly run and brilliantly set up from the Under 9’s through to the youth team and the development squad – there are three main coaches in Bryan Bull, Darren Hare and Mark Patterson.

“They really help this squad and have earned the club a lot of money over the years from people like Matt Jarvis and Ryan Bertrand and long may that continue.

“They play the same way as the first team play in every age so as soon as you get to that age you fit straight in to the system and everyone knows what they are doing.

“They give you the confidence to go and play every week.

“There’s a lot knocking on the door, especially in the development side. Jake has obviously come through and has fitted in well; Stephen Butcher came on after a couple of minutes in the first game and then played against Brackley and did very well.

“We’ve got to keep our game up to stay in the squad.”

Bradley and Jake started the game against Tranmere on Friday night, and ended up on the winning side thanks to a brace from Bayo Akinfenwa.

Dack praised the striker for the impact he had on the evening, but also took time out to credit the centre half partnership of Adam Barrett and Leon Legge who dealt with the Rovers forward line well.

He added: “It was a really good team performance and I felt we all stuck to our jobs well, Bayo came in to the side and did brilliantly to get us the two goals and we should have had a few more.

“It was a bad touch from me to be fair, I over ran the ball and the defender has tried to clear it [for the first goal].

"It’s come off the back of my heel and gone in to his path lovely but it was a great finish on the half volley.

“It was a perfect time to score; they didn’t have a chance to re-group.

“Both of them were absolutely brilliant and they dealt with Ryan Lowe really well the whole game and I thought the goal was a bit unlucky because the wind took the ball in a different direction and you couldn’t really read it.

“Other than that we handled them really well.”

Gills are now preparing for their next match which is at home to Leyton Orient on Boxing Day, and Dack says the team are up for the challenge.

He said: “I don’t think there is a better time to play them for us and we are going in to the game on a good run of form.

"They have lost and in our last home game against Peterborough we took a lot of heart from it because they are a good side and we deserved to get more than a point out of it.

“I thought we were unlucky not to win with the last minute goal they scored and hopefully we can take the game to Orient on Boxing Day.

“I’m looking forward to the Christmas period, its busy and we have a few injuries but we have a good enough squad to get us through.”