York City academy striker Gabby McGill has today joined Championship club Middlesbrough in a deal that will generate ‘sizeable’ funds for the development of young players at Bootham Crescent.
Gabby, the son of City owner and chairman Jason McGill, has signed a two-year scholarship deal at the Riverside Stadium after spending three years developing his game in City’s academy.
Still only 16, the striker had been poised to sign a scholarship deal at City.
However, a ‘sizeable’ offer from Middlesbrough has been accepted and the money received will be used to fund City’s academy as it bids to keep Category Three status.
During negotiations with Middlesbrough over compensation for striker McGill, an agreement has also been reached to develop links between the two clubs at academy level.
The deal includes a number of financial incentives which are related to McGill’s performance at the Riverside Stadium and this could benefit City further over the coming years.
There is also a sell-on clause in the deal which gives City a percentage of any future profit if the highly-rated youngster is sold on by his new club.
In addition, Middlesbrough have agreed to play a pre-season friendly at Bootham Crescent next summer.
“I am leaving with mixed emotions but the offer and the opportunity is difficult to turn down,” McGill told the club`s website. “I know it has been a hard decision for my Dad too. As a parent, he wants to make me happy and, as chairman, he wants to do the best for his football club.
“However, I can honestly say that he has done the best for everyone in this situation.
“I am really happy to be signing for Middlesbrough where I can continue to enhance my footballing education – but there is also a bit of sadness that I won’t now make my debut for York City.
“I have supported this club since I was three-years-old and it was always my dream to play for the first team,” he admitted.
“But Middlesbrough is a Championship club seeking a return to the Premier League and I can see a clear pathway to the first team if I am good enough and I work hard enough. It is a great opportunity.
“Over the next two years, I will be trying my hardest every day to impress. Hopefully, I might break into the under-23 side but the big target is to earn a full-time professional deal.”
McGill scored on his youth team debut for City against Burton Albion in February before making his reserve team debut just a few days later against Chesterfield.
He recently completed his GCSE studies at St Peter’s School in York and has represented the England Independent Schools Football Association national side and played cricket for North Yorkshire and rugby union for the Northern Barbarians.
“My time at the York City academy has been hugely important to my development as a player,” he said. “I started developing as a kid at Pickering Town juniors but I have benefited so much from the guidance of the coaches at York, especially Andy Snell and the youth team manager Steve Torpey.
“I would like to thank St Peter’s School for allowing me to combine my ‘A’ Level studies with my education programme at Middlesbrough.
“I am also grateful for my involvement with the England ISFA side,” he added.
“We have played against other Category One academy sides, including Everton, Liverpool, and Manchester United, and that has given me a lot of confidence to take forward.”