Brentford academy director Ose Aibangee has admitted the prospect of Championship football was not enough to keep Luke Norris at the club.
The 21-year-old striker turned down a new contract at Griffin Park this week to join League One Gillingham on the promise of regular first team football.
Norris, who scored on his first team debut against AFC Wimbledon in the Captial One Cup last season, scored 10 goals in 18 games for the development squad as well as appearing in League Two for Dagenham & Redbridge and Northampton Town.
And Aibangee, who is still negotiating compensation for the player, has backed the youngster to make the move a success.
"Luke has developed enormously since he arrived here from a college course and he is now a League One footballer," said Aibangee.
“We offered him a contract because we felt he could grow in to a player that would do well for Brentford in the Championship.
“There were a number of clubs interested in taking him and he chose Gillingham.
“He has been given the opportunity to play first team football immediately and has decided that is right for him.
“We would have liked to see how he developed if he had stayed at Brentford, but I respect his decision. I am sure he will do well at Gillingham.”