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This is the article series where I look at up-coming players in the lower-leagues of English Football who could one day be shining in the Premier League. In my first article of this series I am looking at Gillingham bright-spark Bradley Dack, who was recently named League 1 Player of the Year.
Bradley Dack signed a three-year scholarship deal with the Gills in 2010 and signed his first professional contract with the club in May 2012. It was only a few months later in August when manager Martin Allen was so impressed with Dack’s pre-season performances that he gave the youngster his professional debut in the 2-1 victory against Bristol City in the League Cup. His first senior goal came against Crawley Town a month later in the Football League Trophy – signing a new three-year contract with Gillingham the following day.
The midfielder’s chances would be limited though when Peter Taylor was appointed manager in October 2013. Dack would find much of his game time coming on as a substitute, as Taylor preferred experience over youth. Coincidentally when Taylor was sacked on the 31st December 2014 Bradley was to be a key-man in The Gills’ remainder of the season and help guiding them to their highest position in a decade, finishing 12th in League One.
It was this season when Dack really caught the eye of Premier League scouts. As of writing this, the 22 year-old has 13 goals to his name and helped Gillingham battle for a Play-Off place. His season did have a set-back though as ‘Dacky’ suffered a hamstring injury in March which kept him out for a month.
But why I do think he could be playing Premier League football in the future? Well, numerous numbers of scouts have visited Priestfield this season to watch the talented midfielder and Gills chairman, Paul Scally, reportedly rejected five bids in January from Championship club Bristol City, with the highest reported £2.5 million. In the last few days there have been several articles on Crystal Palace wanting the ‘best player in League 1’. I am one hundred per cent confident Bradley Dack will not be playing in a Gillingham shirt next season, and that is the only thing I can be certain about regarding his future. Perhaps we’ll even see him in an England shirt one day but maybe I’m taking that a little too far….