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27 April 2019

16-year-old England

  • iFollow Latics- Joe Gelhardt post Birmingham City.
  • The 16-year-old forward made his league debut for the club in the 1-1 draw at St. Andrew's.
  • Gelhardt came on as a substitute at half time after an injury to Josh Windass.

Speaking to iFollow Latics alongside fellow league debutant Jensen Weir, England Under 17 international Joe Gelhardt couldn't hold back his smile after making his first Championship appearance for the club in the 1-1 draw at Birmingham City.

"It's been my dream since I came to the club as a 10-year-old," Gelhardt began.

"I want to thank my family and everyone at the Academy who have helped me get to where I am today making my league debut."

The 16-year-old, who has scored 21 goals across the Under 18s and Development Squad this season, replaced Josh Windass at half time due to the forward's first half injury. Describing the moment he stepped onto the pitch for the second half, Gelhardt said:

"My heart was racing but I was excited and I couldn't wait to get onto the pitch.

"With respect to Josh (Windass), because I was disappointed to see him go down, I did want to get on the pitch, so when the manager told me I was going to come on, I was over the moon.

"The gaffer told me to express myself, so as soon as I got on the ball I tried to forget about the occasion and play my own game."

"The hard work continues now, so whether we're with the first team more often next year, that's up to the manager, but that's my aim to be with the first team next season and make as many appearances as I can."

Latics' Under 18s travel to Exeter City for the EFL Youth Alliance Cup final on Tuesday 30 April, with Gelhardt and his team mates determined to add the trophy to their EFL Youth Alliance title, the Lancashire FA Youth Cup, the Clarets Cup and the Development Squad's Central League crown.

"We've got Exeter City on Tuesday and that'll be a great game. We want to add some more silverware to the three trophies we've won already at Under 18 level."

Millwall H

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