Gills keeper praises development squad for work ethic
Stuart Nelson believes the squad’s welcoming nature has helped the youth and development players to settle in to the first team when called upon.
Six players were handed their Football League debuts in last Saturday’s 3-2 defeat to Burton at the Pirelli Stadium, and Stuart said they thoroughly deserved their opportunity considering the amount of training they have put in.
He said: “They have trained their socks off all season and it’s just got harder as the season has gone on. As a first team player when you’re playing games on a Saturday and a Tuesday, as this league tends to have, you end up not doing as much training because you’re playing a lot more games and its more taxing on your body.
“They have just been training – I get in early in the morning and they have already finished their first session. They’ve been running four/five miles almost every day and their times have been getting quicker.
“They are taking seconds off every time – they are so fit and have worked so hard.
“The squad of players we’ve got is so good that they have been so welcoming to the younger players so that when they do join us for training they feel like one of us.
“They’ve been in our dressing room and on trips with us but I have never seen any one player singled out – they have always been brought straight in to the group as if they have all season.
“We don’t make them feel any different to any of the other lads, that’s the biggest respect we can pay them as first team players.”
Stuart also took time out to praise Tommy Forecast who signed on loan from Southampton at the start of the season as cover for the Gills number one, and Nelson said he has been a huge help in developing his own game.
He said: “I’ve got a lot of respect for Tommy; he’s been there for me all season. He’s always backed me, we room together and he’s a really good goalkeeper.
“We bounce off each other and it’s been a partnership. We support each other as a group; we all help each other through it.
“Tommy will have offers with Southampton being a Premier League team and he has a good pedigree having been at Tottenham aswell. It’s what Tommy decides to do but from a selfish point of view I’d love to have him with me because it has worked so well this season.
“A lot of factors have come in to my game but he is definitely one of them. We get on really well and it makes it easy to come to training.”
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