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Jake Hessenthaler admitted he thought he might never play for Gillingham.
The 19-year-old wasn’t given a chance in the Gills first team until the arrival of Peter Taylor.
And since making his Gills debut in Rotherham at the end of November, he has gone from strength to strength, becoming a regular in the side.
His reward was a new deal that ties him to Gillingham until the summer of 2018.
He said: “When I heard that I would be getting offered the contract, I was over the moon.
“I would love to play for the club longer and now I have the contract I need to push on a bit more, play more football and keep that spot in the first team.
“There have been times when I thought I might not ever play for the club but I never doubted my own ability. Hard work has paid off.
“I wasn’t really a part of it last year but this year I have been part of it a lot more. I would like to be lifting a few more trophies in the future now.”
Hessenthaler insists a new deal won’t change him.
“Signing this contract doesn’t change anything for me,” he told the club’s website. “I’ve still got to keep on my toes and keep working hard and by the end of it I want to take this club back to where it belongs.
“I need to keep improving every day and keep pushing myself to the limits.”
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