Young defender Connor Essam has become Crawley Town’s sixth new addition of the transfer window.
The former Gillingham centre-back, 20, signed a deal at the Broadfield Stadium this morning, and has agreed contract until the end of the 2014-15 season.
He was released by Gillingham manager Martin Allen after two years at the League Two promotion contenders, and had several loan spells, including two months at Blue Square Premier outfit Luton earlier this season.
Manager Richie Barker said: “We are delighted to have Connor at the club. He fits the template of players I want to work with. He is young with lots of potential and has a real appetite to learn and improve.
“Losing Claude Davis this week meant we had to strengthen this area of the team and we now have, in my opinion, four excellent central defenders.
“We weren’t afraid to throw another two youngsters, Joe Walsh and Mark Connolly, into the mix earlier in the season and both have improved with every game they have played. Connor is coming here to put them and Kyle McFadzean under pressure and get his career back on track. He is a great fit for this club.”
Essam, who has made 18 appearances for the Gills, had not feaztured this season, and wants to put his career back on track.
He commented: “Things haven’t worked out for me at Gillingham this season but I feel I have a lot to offer and Crawley is getting a reputation for developing young players and I think I can improve here and hopefully help the boys push on towards the play-offs.”