Age is of no concern to Gillingham’s management.
Seventeen-year-old keeper Joe Walsh was picked to play for Gillingham against Millwall and 18-year-old midfielder Ben Allen also played for most of the game.
Teenage defender Jack Tucker was also among the starters against the Championship side.
Assistant boss Paul Raynor said: “The team will be picked on merit and if they deserve to play, it doesn’t matter who they are. Whether they are young or old, they will play. It’s an opportunity for everyone, including the youngsters.”
Youth international Walsh, who signed a pro deal this summer, has been involved in all of Gills’ pre-season games and is pushing to be number two to Jack Bonham.
It could save the club some money on a more-experienced back-up keeper and Sunday’s performance did him no harm.
“He was excellent,” said Raynor. “We were pleased with him. We had heard all about this young goalkeeper when we came in the door, the potential he has got.
“He has worked with Simon (Royce, the goalkeeper coach) now for a couple of weeks. Simon likes him and it was important he got some minutes under his belt to see how he handled the first team environment.”
Allen impressed while in action for the under-23s. He then came off the bench for the first team against Charlton and started the Millwall match.
Raynor said: “I was there at Bearsted on Monday night and the gaffer was there on Friday to have a look at these boys.
“We’re not going to have a massive squad so these boys might be needed and utilised at some point. The better ones are going to be training with the first team. We were very pleased.”