Published: 00:00, 18 March 2014 |
Updated: 14:51, 18 March 2014
Jake Hessenthaler believes his loan spell with Margate helped him break into the first team at Gillingham.
The young midfielder started the season at Hartsdown Park under former joint-bosses Simon Osborn and Craig Holloway before returning to Priestfield.
He's since forced his way into the Gills side, starting 13 League 1 matches and scoring a 40-yard wonder goal in a 4-2 win over Coventry last week.
Hessenthaler said: "This year I needed to start trying to push towards the first team and I think going out on loan to Margate helped me develop my game and get more experience of men's football.
"A lot of non-league clubs who get pro players coming down think they're going to try and do what they want but I went down there to work as hard as I could for the team.
"If the managers told me to do something, I did what they said. I'm on loan and I'm going to respect the way they want to play."
Hessenthaler still checks Gate's results in the Ryman League Premier Division and is backing them to prosper under new boss Terry Brown next season.
He added: "I do quite often look out for their results. They're not doing the best at the moment.
"The manager's changed now and they're restructuring the club at the moment.
"I think they'll be safe and hopefully next season they can push on for promotion.
"They were up there early this season, so hopefully they can get up there again."
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