Young defender Patrick Gamble has signed a one-year professional contract with Championship outfit Blackburn Rovers
The commanding 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. His consistent performances in the heart of Ryan Kidd’s defence led to his inclusion in LFE’s April edition of ‘The 11’, which also highlighted his academic achievements.
Speaking about the accolade in April, LFE Regional Officer Craig Skinner said: “Patrick has made excellent progress on the BTEC Diploma and is well on course to achieve a D*D*. “Alongside that, his SEP work has been outstanding and he gained a distinction on his EPA. He displayed outstanding presentation and communication skills when delivering back to the Academy’s multidisciplinary team.
“He has not missed a game for the U18s in what has been a successful season for the team. His overall application to everything has been top-notch. He has displayed outstanding leadership skills on and off the pitch and has been someone who has demanded and driven high standards in everyone.”
It has been a season to remember, with goals in back-to-back ties against Sheffield Wednesday and Nottingham Forest a particular highlight.
Gamble also played six times for the Under-23s, 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 told the club website.
“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 is one of 10 apprentices to be offered professional deals by the club, with Georgie Gent, Adam Wharton and Harry Leonard already having put pen to paper on their deals, and more expected to follow in the coming days.
Reflecting on his journey to date, Gamble added: “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.”