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Gillingham teenagers Joseph Gbode, Sam Gale and Alex Giles join Folkestone Invicta alongside Braintree Town midfielder Simo Mbonkwi for Isthmian Premier promotion push


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Three Gillingham teenagers are among four new faces at Folkestone as they push for promotion from Isthmian Premier.

Injury-hit Invicta have signed striker Joseph Gbode, midfielder Sam Gale and defender Alex Giles from the League 1 club while Simo Mbonkwi has also joined on a dual-registration basis from National League South outfit Braintree, the club have announced.

Gillingham forward Joe Gbode has joined Folkestone on a dual-registration basis. Picture: Andy Jones
Gillingham forward Joe Gbode has joined Folkestone on a dual-registration basis. Picture: Andy Jones

Folkestone host sixth-placed Lewes this Saturday in a potentially pivotal match but they say Gbode, Giles and Mbonkwi will only join up with the squad in time for their trip to Horsham on Tuesday.

Invicta announced the signings hours after the Isthmian League deadline on Thursday, with Jordan Wright (fractured tibia and fibula), Ade Yusuff (hamstring) and Ian Draycott (broken wrist) all currently sidelined.

To make matters worse, Dartford loanee Luke Wanadio came off in their 5-0 Velocity Trophy semi-final loss at Horsham on Tuesday, too.

Gbode found himself thrust into Gillingham's first-team in November, aged only 16, making three substitute appearances, with two of those matches being in League 1, before he joined Margate for a month at the start of last month. During his time at Hartsdown Park, he played five times and claimed an assist on his debut as Lewis Knight scored a late winner against Horsham.

Gale played for the Gills in pre-season, has been around their first-team this season and has since had a spell in the Southern Counties East Premier Division with strugglers Lordswood. In November, he came off the bench in a 2-0 League 1 loss to Cheltenham for the final stages of the match.

Young midfielder Sam Gale is also joining Invicta from the Gills on a dual-registration basis. Picture: Andy Jones
Young midfielder Sam Gale is also joining Invicta from the Gills on a dual-registration basis. Picture: Andy Jones

Giles joined Isthmian South East Faversham for a month last month but, with the Lilywhites only playing three times in February, he only started twice before returning to Priestfield.

Mbonkwi has featured for Hungerford as well as Braintree.

Folkestone have brought teenage striker Tyler Sterling back from Hythe and under-18s forward Lloyd Boateng has signed first-team forms with the club, too, further bolstering their attacking ranks.

Invicta are fifth in the table, with only seven matches to play.

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