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Gillingham sign former Fulham striker Stefan Payne and released Reading teenager Andy White

Stefan Payne
Stefan Payne

Andy Hessenthaler has completed his first signings of the season after landing teenage strikers Andy White and Stefan Payne.

The pair are both aged 19 and Gills manager Hessenthaler is looking to give them a new lease of life in League 2 following their release from higher division clubs.

White was released by Championship side Reading, having progressed through their academy, while Payne (pictured) has been let go by Premier League Fulham.

Hessenthaler said: “They’ve both got good potential and I’m hoping they are going to be a big part of pre-season and, who knows, they could be a big part of the season ahead if they stake their claim for a place in the side.

“I don’t know too much about Andy so it’s a bit of a flier but it’s not a financial risk. We’ll take the lad on and see if we can nurture him through.”

Payne was a big hit in non-league and commanded a fee of around £25,000, along with some lucrative add-ons, when he moved from Sutton United to Roy Hodgson’s Fulham .

“I think the jump from non-league was just too much for him and they decided to let him go despite having a year left on his contract,” said Hessenthaler.

“I spoke to quite a few people about him and he’s got massive potential.”

Payne has signed a two year deal with the club, while White has completed a one year contract. Both with link up with the squad when pre-season training begins on July 1.

What do you make of the new arrivals? Comment below.

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