Boss explains Millwall striker's Bromley move

JAMIE Philpot will learn more playing first-team football at Bromley than on the bench at Millwall, according to Lions boss Neil Harris.

Philpot joined the National League club last Friday on a 28-day deal and made his debut in their 2-1 defeat at Wrexham the following day.

The 20-year-old centre-forward has made five appearances for Millwall this season, with his two starts coming in the League Cup and Football League Trophy.

Philpot is one of three Millwall players currently out on loan. David Forde is Portsmouth's first-choice goalkeeper, while Paris Cowan-Hall has played seven games at Wycombe after an injury-hit spell with the Lions.

Bromley could opt to extend Philpot's deal, and Harris felt it was the right time to expose him to regular first-team football with Neil Smith's side.

"If you look at cases like Fordey, who's at the other end of his career, he wants to play all the time," Harris said. "However much I wanted to keep David and have him around the place you have to say he deserves the right to go and play.

"With the youngsters it's a similar story. Jamie has been very much part of my squad, he's had a couple of starts in the cups, he's come off the bench a couple of times. But how is he going to develop if he's going to be on the bench or going to be the 19th man for the next couple of months?

"It's a real fine line at the moment. We're trying to find our feet, like all clubs, and get the balance between letting players go out for a period and making sure we've got enough cover.

"We got to the stage with Aiden O'Brien and Harry Smith back fit and Alfie Pavey back from Bromley when we thought it was the right time for Jamie to go out for 28 days initially, to go and get some experience.

"Ultimately you learn more playing men's games than you do at any training session or U23s game."

Meanwhile, Harris said Forde and Cowan-Hall have not been given permission to play in the FA Cup first round (on November 4), but that could change after further discussion between the clubs.

Image source: ©Millwall FC

John Kelly