And pro brother Danny helps too

The Non-League Football Paper - - EVO-STIK LEAGUE SOUTH, WEST & EAST - By Matt Bad­cock

YATE TOWN loan star Lewis LeighGilchrist has got the per­fect role model for what it takes to be a Foot­ball League player – big brother Danny Rose plays for Portsmouth!

Leigh-Gilchrist, a first year pro at Bris­tol Rovers, has shone for the EVO-STIK South West club in his tem­po­rary spell, scor­ing 13 goals and grab­bing eight as­sists.

The 18-year-old has big am­bi­tions to break into the first-team pic­ture at League One side Rovers – where he’s pro­gressed through the youth sys­tem – and says Non-League foot­ball is help­ing his game.

But he can also lean on plenty of ad­vice from brother Rose who re­built his ca­reer in Non-League af­ter leav­ing Manch­ester United and Ox­ford.

Rose won the Con­fer­ence South with New­port County, played a part in Fleet­wood Town’s Con­fer­ence ti­tle and cap­tained Eng­land C. Af­ter a re­turn to Ox­ford he moved to Northamp­ton Town, where he won League Two, be­fore re­peat­ing the trick last sea­son with Portsmouth.


And Leigh-Gilchrist says his in­put his in­valu­able when it comes to his own de­vel­op­ment.

“Danny’s bril­liant for me,” Leigh-Gilchrist said. “Through­out my ca­reer he has been a big as­pect of my game. He gives me point­ers and lots of con­fi­dence be­cause he really be­lieves in me – that’s brought my con­fi­dence out. He’s a very ex­pe­ri­enced player and we talk a lot about foot­ball – what to do when things go wrong and even when they are go­ing well.

“He broke his leg re­cently, which is gut­ting. I was in­jured last sea­son and he was al­ways telling me to be pos­i­tive and come back stronger so now I’m sup­port­ing him.”

Leigh-Gilchrist’s spell at Yate is up on Jan­uary 20 but he says if Rovers don’t have first-team plans for him just yet then he’s happy to con­tinue his ed­u­ca­tion on loan in Non-League.

“I’ve en­joyed it mas­sively,” he said. “It’s a good level of foot­ball with good play­ers. It’s a bit fran­tic at times but I set­tled in really quickly and ev­ery­thing has worked per­fectly for me – scor­ing goals and get­ting as­sists.

“The Yate lads were great with me straight­away and the man­ager Polly [Paul Brit­ton] and his staff are really good – it’s been work­ing out nicely.

“I’m learn­ing a lot there with reg­u­lar foot­ball. It’s dif­fer­ent to my age group foot­ball. It’s get­ting the phys­i­cal side of the game, learn­ing the other sides of it and go­ing up against some really ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers, which has really im­proved me. It’s also nice to have made a con­tri­bu­tion to the team with my goals.

“Ob­vi­ously I’d love to get a chance with Rovers first team at some point but I’ve got to be pa­tient and keep do­ing as well as I have been do­ing at Yate.”

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ROVER AND OUT! Lewis LeighGilchrist in ac­tion for Bris­tol Rovers and, in­set, with brother Danny Rose

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