The Evo-Stik League Southern
Published 12th June 2012
.....to train with Bristol Rovers during pre-season.
The Ealing-born 21-year-old, who started his career as a trainee at npower League One club Brentford, was offered a short trial to train with Rovers' first-team at the end of last season. And Rovers' manager Mark McGhee was sufficiently impressed to ask Nicholls back for a further spell at the Knowle training base when the players return at the start of July.
The offer is primarily to help the youngster get up to speed with his fitness before he travels to America to take up a football scholarship – but Yate assistant-manager Michael Meaker insists that Nicholls is destined to earn a living from the game regardless of what happens with Rovers over the summer.
"It's great news that Robin has been offered another opportunity," said Meaker. "It's certainly a good boost for the lad that he's been deemed good enough to go back and train with them again.
"I spoke to a few of the Rovers' lads after Robin had been down there and they were very complimentary about his efforts. From what I'm led to believe, he did well and didn't look out of place at all.
"It may be a big step up in level between Rovers and Yate, but, Robin is certainly someone who should be playing at a higher level anyway and I know there have been a few scouts down having a look at him.
"It looks likely that Robin will end up going to America in September, but, I'm pretty certain that he'll be earning a living out of professional football sooner or later. He's certainly got all the tools to go all the way."
Nicholls is in his second season at Lodge Road, having joined from Weymouth in 2010, and played an integral role in Yate's emergence as one of the form sides in the division over the latter part of last season.
The University of Bath student was at Brentford for six years prior to being released and was nominated in the Football League `Apprentice of the Year` awards in 2009, along with the likes of Crystal Palace winger Sean Scannell and Blackpool wideman Matt Phillips.
"It's nice to see a young lad bounce back after being released by a League club in the early part of his career," said Meaker. "Effectively being told you're not good enough to make it can be a really devastating blow to a young lad's confidence.
"Robin was on the fringes of the Yate side before Rob Cousins and myself took over, but we quickly saw the potential in him.
"He was fantastic for us in midfield last season.
"He's got an engine to die for and is fantastic in the air.
"He's still got a lot to learn in terms of his composure on the ball and his passing. Those things come with time and experience, however, and Robin is the sort of lad who is a quick learner as he has a great attitude to training and shows a lot of enthusiasm to improve."