Gills Manager pleased with progress of development and youth boys
Martin Allen says the development and youth team squads are coming on well and says a number of players are currently out on loan to gain first team experience.
The development team, with the help of some first team and youth players, defeated Dagenham & Redbridge 3-1 at MEMS Priestfield on Tuesday, and Martin said it was good to see some of his first team pro’s playing so well.
He said: “It was good to see the two lads that have joined on loan playing, Steven Gregory played very well and it was a really good performance. For the last 20 minutes our youth team were on the pitch having made nine subs.
“Eight of our lads are out on loan which is very good for our development squad. We get our reports back on them, Jake Hessenthaler came with the first team to Bradford and York for the experience along with Sam Muggleton and then a week later Tamworth came in so that’s a good move for him.
“We’ll see how he gets on but he has been working hard – all of the development and youth players are coming on well.”
One player who has impressed is Aaron Millbank who has been rewarded for his efforts with an extension to his scholarship which will take him in to a third year, and despite the fact he played in defence midweek, Martin said he still played very well.
He added: “He hasn’t signed it yet but he got told the other day and we’ve been monitoring him for a while now and I think he’s been superb in the last couple of months.
“He has good shape, a good size, good attitude; he has good technical ability and keeps scoring goals. We will probably take him to Chesterfield in to our squad and he’s only 18 and that will be his first time with the first team.
“He’s a centre forward but played right back the other day so that was good fun.
“That just shows what type of player he is – he’s bright, intelligent, he listens, he’s a sponge for information and I think everybody thought I was mad when I put him at right back, but didn’t he play well?
“A few years ago I was the Manager at Brentford and we had a centre forward called Kevin O’Connor. He was a good player and a good centre forward but he had played about 32 matches and scored one goal.
“It looked like they were going to get relegated and at half time one week we were losing 1-0 and I put him from centre forward to right back and people looked at me as if I was mad.
“He’s gone on to have a fantastic career for the last seven years playing at right back, and if they are bright they can adapt and play. You have to be brave and give players the opportunity to play in different positions.
“We have done it here – Whelpdale played right back the other day but all of our players can play in different positions.”