LEWIS HAPPY BEING A YATE DEVELOPER!
And pro brother Danny helps too
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