Four players from the club's under-16s awarded full-time apprenticeshipsGillingham Football Club are delighted to announce that four players from our under-16 schoolboy group have been awarded apprenticeships for the next two years.
Defender George Sheminant, midfielders Jude Arthurs and Charles Noyelle and striker Roman Campbell will turn full-time with the Gills this summer.
Arthurs, Noyelle and Campbell have already featured once for the club's under-18s this season, all coming on as substitutes in December's Youth Alliance South East Division fixture against Leyton Orient.
Gillingham-born Sheminant has been with the Gills Academy since he was eight. He is a left-sided centre-back who is physically strong and tenacious, but also has good quality in possession. Sheminant has been captain of his group for most of his time with the club.
Hailing from Gravesend, Campbell (pictured above, right) joined the club when he was an under-14. Another left-footed player, he took a little while to settle down in terms of his position, but has featured more as a forward over the last 12 months.
Arthurs (pictured above, left) is from Bexley and first signed with us as a 10-year-old, having come to our attention at our Development Centre in Dartford. He is a combative midfield player with good quality, particularly from wider areas, although generally he has played more centrally for our under-16s.
Noyelle also joined the club at the age of 10; he is technically very proficient, with a creative eye and the ability to pick a pass and unlock defences. A Maidstone boy, he generally plays in central midfield areas and it will be interesting to see what position he eventually develops into.
Commenting on the new scholars, Bryan Bull, the club's Professional Development Academy Manager said: "As well as being a massively important decision for the players’ futures, it is also critical that, as a club, we give due regard to all factors surrounding each individual.
"The decisions on the players we eventually made offers of scholarships to this year were split between those who we believe have largely reached physical maturity, and others who, due to their late date of birth and maybe their later maturation (rate of growth), were not so physically developed at the time of year when the rules tell us we have to make decisions.
"There is a significant difference between the likes of George and Roman, who have physically matured relatively early and have had time to adjust to their new heights and weights, compared to Charles and Jude, who both have late birthdays [June and August respectively].
"The latter two therefore still have a significant amount of physical maturing to do. I am informed that Paul Scholes barely featured in his under-17 year with Manchester United, while I recall a few seasons ago seeing Dele Alli dominate a youth team game at Beechings Cross for MK Dons while he was an under-15.
"That is one of the pleasures of our jobs; there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach that is exactly right, and sometimes with younger players of all ages, patience is indeed a virtue!
"I am sure you will join with me in wishing these young men all the very best as they embark on an exciting time in their lives."