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Former Gillingham and Ramsgate defender Emmanuel Fernandez snapped up by Peterborough United

A former Gillingham youth player has signed a two-year deal with Championship newboys Peterborough United.

Emmanuel Fernandez was released by the Gills a year ago and was with Ramsgate last season before joining Posh. He had previously been on loan with the likes of Sheppey United and Margate.

Emmanuel Fernandez in FA Youth Cup action for Gillingham
Emmanuel Fernandez in FA Youth Cup action for Gillingham

His new boss Darren Ferguson admits there is work to be done to get the 6ft 5inch central defender up to speed but he’s done enough to warrant a full-time contract.

Fernandez, 19, made his first Posh outing in an 8-0 win over Bedford on Saturday.

Ferguson said: “We got him in from Ramsgate (at the end of) last season. He has lots to learn, as you would expect, but he has size, he is quick, he is good on the ball, he ticks a lot of boxes but he needs a lot of work in terms of understanding the tactical side of things but he was very good.”

Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony described the teenager as a “talented young addition.”

Ramsgate manager Matt Longhurst said he was delighted for the player, adding: “We spoke to the right people and created an opportunity, he did the rest. I’m over the moon for him.”

The player himself is now delighted to have won a professional contract after several setbacks as a junior, with a brief spell at Brentford and a couple of years with Gillingham.

He said: "It is a bit of a heartbreak when you go through those phases and you end up not getting signed but I feel like you just have to work hard and keep going because you never know where you could end up."

More: Entertaining start to Gills' pre-season campaign

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