In an age where there is concern growing about English talent, the performances of 18-year-old Jack Payne have been a breath of fresh air.
The young midfielder has impressed the Priestfield faithful with his hard-working, tough tackling displays in the centre of the Gillingham side, anchoring the midfield, providing the opportunities for more attacking players to push forward, knowing they have a more than capable cover player behind them.
Payne broke into the Gills’ first team last season, being tipped for big things by then youth team coach Mark Patterson.
The reputation of the starlet improved as he took all given opportunities and challenges in his stride, leading to Jack Payne being one of the first names on the team sheet, and reported interest from Championships clubs.
It seems the only way is up for the local-born talent, yet he shows nothing but modesty and loyalty, stating that he just wants to concentrate on his fledgling Gillingham career, rather than worry about alleged interest from other clubs.
This allegiance to the club has further added to his tag of fans’ favourite, supporters hoping the club will hold on to the player for his best years.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.