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Home   Kent   Sport   Article

Gillingham manager Peter Taylor is looking forward to seeing Jake Hessenthaler develop further this season

08 July 2014
by Luke Cawdell

Gillingham's Jake Hessenthaler is back in training Picture Barry Goodwin

Gillingham's Jake Hessenthaler is back in training Picture: Barry Goodwin

Peter Taylor believes Jake Hessenthaler can be the complete midfielder.

The 19-year-old was largely used in a defensive role last season but the Gills manager believes he has plenty to offer going forward as well.

Taylor said: “The nice thing about Jake is that people can’t say he is a holding midfielder that can pass because looking at him now, he can run forward, he can get us a goal – closer than the one he has scored – and he has a bit more about him.

“He could be an attacking midfield player as well as defensive.”

Jake Hessenthaler in midfield action for Gills against Shrewsbury last season Picture Barry Goodwin

Jake Hessenthaler in midfield action for Gills against Shrewsbury last season Picture: Barry Goodwin



Taylor handed Hessenthaler his Gills debut at Rotherham in November and he quickly established himself as a first-team regular, finishing the season with 19 appearances.

Taylor said: “We could have a very good player. He was probably as comfortable on the ball as any other player we have got but also he is having a right go defensively as well.

“I kept saying to him, ‘be a bit like your dad (Andy Hessenthaler) without the ball and then we have got a very good player.”

Hessenthaler’s performances during the season earned him the young player-of-the-year award and his 40-yard lob against Coventry saw him claim goal of the season.

Jake Hessenthaler won young player-of-the-year and best goal trophies last season. Pictures Andy Payton

Jake Hessenthaler won young player-of-the-year and best goal trophies last season. Pictures: Andy Payton



He spoke on stage during the end of season award ceremony and Taylor was impressed.

He said: “He handled the situation well. I can’t imagine there were many times he has been on a stage talking like that and I thought he did great.

“On the strength of his parents, I am not surprised he is a serious footballer who is going to do everything he can and I think he is pleased with the way he is developing. There is a lot more in the tank as well.”

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