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Gillingham youth boss Darren Hare believes third year scholars Jake Hessenthaler and Josh Hare have it all to prove

By Luke Cawdell
Darren Hare
Darren Hare

Jake Hessenthaler and Josh Hare have started life on the verge of Gillingham’s first team this summer – and youth boss Darren Hare believes they have more to prove than most.

Hessenthaler, the son of former player, manager and now director of football Andy, and Hare, who is Darren’s son, both start their third-year scholarship this season – with a professional deal for the following year already agreed.

Hessenthaler and Hare junior are cousins but the family link has played no part in their rise to the top at Gillingham, insists Hare senior.

Hare (pictured) said: "Obviously one of them is my boy and one is Hess’s boy. The boys have broad shoulders and the decision on Josh was kind of taken out of my hands by everyone else really.

"It is not going to be easy for them but it’s a challenge. There will be all the doubters out there and people thinking that the only reason they are where they are is because of who their dads are.

"They have a tougher challenge because they have to go and prove to everyone else they are good enough, not just the people who have made the decisions.

"It is not easy for them but if anyone knows me they will know I am probably harder on those two than anyone else. If I didn’t think they were up for it then I certainly wouldn’t have put them into that window.

"They are both good players. Whether they will both go on and be good enough for League football I don’t know, I can’t answer that question."

Hare coached the pair last season but now as third-year scholars they will this year be closer to the first team and working with development coach Mark Patterson.

"As far as I am concerned they have earned the opportunity," said Hare.

"A coach and a manager gives and takes away opportunities. It is nice to be able to give them that opportunity and it’s up to them to take it.

"It won’t be easy for Josh as there will be a few out there thinking he has got it because of who I am and who Hessy is."

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