Darren Oldaker has today signed a pro contract at Gillingham Football Club.
The 17-year-old made a number of appearances on the bench last season and is a promising talent for the future, hopefully following the likes of Jake Hessenthaler and Bradley Dack in becoming a first-team regular upon progressing from the Gills Academy.
“I'm very excited and it means a lot to sign a professional contract,” he said. “I learned a lot training and being around the first-team last season, I feel like I've grown up and become a man.
“Hopefully I can make that first league debut next season, and do my best for the team whenever the chance comes.”
Manager Justin Edinburgh has praised Oldaker's progression in the development squad last season and believes he is more than capable of playing first-team football.
“We have got a good, young player here in Darren Oldaker,” said Edinburgh. “His performances in the youth team and the development team last season were good.”
Oldaker played for Queens Park Rangers during his youth career and signed for the Gills just before Edinburgh arrived at the club. He has impressed in the development squad this year and was featured in Fletch and Sav's programme on BT Sport, alongside team-mate Bradley Stevenson, which you can see here.
The midfielder was selected on the first-team's substitute bench for the first time on August 15, when the Gills played Port Vale in League One.
You can watch Oldaker's wonder free-kick for the development team against Ebbsfleet United last November here.