Rovers Under-18s captain signs first professional contract

·2-min read
Rovers Under-18s captain Patrick Gamble
Rovers Under-18s captain Patrick Gamble

Patrick Gamble has signed a one-year professional contract with Rovers.

The central defender captained the Under-18s to a fifth-placed finish in the Premier League North division last term, as well as the quarter finals of the FA Youth Cup.

He scored in back-to-back Ewood ties against Sheffield Wednesday and Nottingham Forest and was a key figure for Ryan Kidd’s Under-18s side.

Gamble also played six times for the Under-23s in Premier League, with his target set on becoming more of a regular figure in Mike Sheron’s side next term.

“I think last season was a good season for me personally, with the Youth Cup run, even though we didn’t go as far as we would have liked, but it was still a good experience for all the lads,” Gamble said.

Playing for the Under-23s has also helped me improve as a player.

“Looking ahead, I want to become a regular player in the Under-23s and hopefully get to train with the first team a bit more.

“As a young player, you want to take the standards that the first team set and then bring them back down with you to the Under-23s and try to improve that environment as well.”

Gamble has already been with Rovers for over a decade, joining as an Under-7.

He was one of 10 scholars to be offered professional deals by the club, with more to follow in Gamble’s footsteps in the coming days.

That was reward for the excellent season, and number of exciting prospects, within the Under-18s set-up, with Georgie Gent, Adam Wharton and Harry Leonard already having signed new deals.

Defender Gamble said: “I’m very happy to sign this new deal.

“It’s what I’ve been working towards my whole life. I’ve dedicated and sacrificed a lot of things, so on a personal note I’m very happy to get it over the line.

“I’d like to think that it’s reward for the progress I’ve made over a number of years at the club.

“A lot of hard work and effort goes into it, especially from myself and my family, so I’m very grateful to them too.”

Rovers’ Academy options in central defence are well stocked, with George Pratt also set to sign his first professional deal.

Ash Phillips, still a scholar, has trained regularly with the first-team, while Under-23s regulars Sam Barnes and Louie Annesley are both still under contract.

Jalil Saadi is also understood to have agreed an extension to his contract, having been offered a new deal at the end of the season.

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