Published: 19:45, 03 August 2021
| Updated: 19:54, 03 August 2021
Former Arsenal and Birmingham City player Dan Crowley was a surprise starter for Gillingham on Tuesday night.
The attacking midfielder - celebrating his 24th birthday on the night - lined up for the Gills against Premier League Norwich City in their final pre-season match of the summer.
Gillingham were short of numbers for the trip, with captain Kyle Dempsey among a handful of names missing. Crowley’s involvement boosted the numbers and he has good pedigree.
He was with Hull City on loan last season, joining them in January and helping them win promotion to the Championship.
He is a former professional at Arsenal having moved there from Aston Villa’s junior ranks. He moved to Dutch side side Willem II and played there for two seasons before Birmingham signed him for £750,000 in 2018. He played 41 games for the Blues but was released this summer following his return from Hull.
He had been on trial at Cheltenham Town, playing for them over pre-season, but their manager Michael Duff said an agreement couldn’t be reached, commenting: “We were close to a deal, but the agent has moved the posts a little bit and we feel it isn't the right deal. We have both moved on, shaken hands and moved on.”
Crowley has played for England’s youth teams up to under-19 but is eligible to play for Ireland’s senior side.