Published: 06:00, 29 April 2021
Gerald Sithole made his Gillingham debut last Saturday and it might have been a dream one had the linesman kept his flag down.
Gills boss Steve Evans threw the teenage forward on after watching his side surrender a 2-2 draw but the chance to make headlines was taken away from him, as he chased a through ball.
It wasn’t to be last Saturday against Northampton but there are high hopes he’ll make an impact for the club.
Evans said: “I didn’t think he was offside when we put him through on goal, it would have been interesting had he gone on and stuck it away, he would’ve made headlines.
“He is a young kid, he need to keep his feet on the ground and work hard.”
Sithole has signed a professional contract for next season and may get more opportunities in the next two games, at Burton this weekend and then at home to Plymouth in the final game.
“He is a tremendous young talent,” Evans said.
“He will play a lot more, he is a young kid who conducts himself properly and if you were his parent you would be proud.
“I really like the kid and he has a lot of hard work to do but his smile, energy and willingness to work hard are infectious.
“He has a bright future if he stays focused with his ability and frightening pace.”
Sithole, tweeting after his debut, wrote: “Proud moment for me to make my first professional debut. shame about the result but we go again next week.”
Former player Barry Fuller - a fellow Ashford resident - and current Gillingham pros such as Alex MacDonald and Vadaine Oliver were among those to congratulate him on social media for making his debut.
Youth boss Craig Stone added his congratulations, saying: ”Very proud of Gerald signing his first professional contract last week and making his senior debut (on Saturday).
“A talented youngster and a product of the academy. A pleasure to work with for the last two years. Time to work even harder.”