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Striker Gerald Sithole signs for League 1 Bolton Wanderers after being released by Gillingham

Released Gillingham striker Gerald Sithole has signed for League 1 Bolton Wanderers.

Sithole was one of several young players to have benefited from Gillingham’s injury problems last season, making 21 appearances during the 2021/22 campaign.

Gerald Sithole celebrates his FA Cup goal for Gillingham Picture: Andy Jones
Gerald Sithole celebrates his FA Cup goal for Gillingham Picture: Andy Jones

The young striker from Ashford made just one appearance for current boss Neil Harris, however, as a late substitute on the final day against Rotherham United.

Sithole, 19, was not offered a new deal this summer and Bolton have added him to their ranks, initially joining up with the club's B team.

Former Gills boss Steve Evans once likened him to Brentford striker Ivan Toney, handing him his Football League debut against Northampton Town in April 2021.

His first goal for the Gills came against Crawley Town in August, at the start of the 2021/22 season, and he also netted an equaliser against Cheltenham Town in the FA Cup. All but two of his 16 league appearances came off the bench and he never managed a goal in the EFL.

He was in the team that drew 2-2 at Bolton in October.

Commenting on the Bolton Wanderers website, Sithole said he was looking forward to the new challenge.

“You want to experience something new in your career so hopefully I’m able to do that here,” he said.

“I remember the atmosphere from playing here last season so hopefully I can transition from the B team to the first team as quickly as possible.

“Everyone wants to do their best and everyone wants to play first-team football. I’ve had a taste of it, so I’m eager to get back into that.”

Gillingham don’t have a B team, which hampers their ability to keep hold of players who could make it in the future. Harris has said that part of his longer-term vision is to create an under-23/B team set-up at the club but funding would be required.

He said: “As much as I am honest and pushy I fully understand why we haven’t got an under-23 side at the moment.

“Is that something that we want further down the line in the coming seasons? A long-term project for the club, 100%, it has to be, a B team or an under-23 team, it has to be.”

Youngster Harvey Lintott also left the Gills this summer while the club are waiting on a decision from Josh Chambers over whether he will sign a professional deal.

Championship side Rotherham United, meanwhile, have clinched the signing of former Gills striker Tom Eaves, joining them on a three-year deal.

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