Academy goalkeeper called up by England Schoolboys for upcoming centenary shield

Gillingham FC is proud to announce that one of our academy goalkeepers has been called up to represent the England Schoolboys Under-18 side.

Tom Hadler, who has played for the club’s youth side on a number of occasions, is in his second spell at Priestfield and trains once a week alongside Stuart Nelson and George Howard, with Goalkeeping Coach Carl Muggleton following his progress closely.

Hadler has re-joined the club on a temporary basis, having left as an U15 to concentrate on his education, but is back in training now as he looks to progress a career in Football when his studies are over.

The youngster was understandably delighted to have got the call, and is looking forward to the experience.

Speaking to the club website during training he said:

“I found out on Wednesday by letter, it was nice to open and get that good news. I had trials at the weekend which went pretty well so I was hopeful but you don’t quite believe it until you see it and I was quite chuffed.

“Andy Buckingham is the Manager, he’s a school teacher but also a UEFA licensed coach. It’s a really good set up, he’s a great Manager and I’m looking forward to it.

“My first game next week is against Australia but that’s only a friendly but our centenary shield games start in March when we play all of the home nations. There’s a bit of travelling involved but there will be a few nice grounds.”

Tom thanked the coaching staff at the club who have helped him develop, and is hoping once his studies are over to be involved full time in Football.

He added: “I come in every Thursday as I’m still at school so I chat with Muggs and the other keepers and that’s good.

“Bryan gave me the chance and Spencer Creedon the goalkeeping coach; he’s a top bloke and helped me with everything I’ve done. To have the opportunity, once I had left to stay at school, and come back I have to thank Bryan and Darren.

“Hopefully in the future I can work a bit more with Mark [Patterson] and see how it goes.

“It was exceptionally hard to walk away from centres football and study my `A` levels but I felt it was the right decision being at a grammar school and having something to fall back on.

“I aspire to be a professional footballer so if it can work out for England and Gillingham that would be perfect.”

. hereRead what coaches Darren Hare and Bryan Bull had to say on the subject