Stevenage determined to keep hold of starlets Ben Wilmot and Mark McKee

Stevenage

Stevenage have told top clubs in England and Europe to keep their hands off their promising young talent.

Ben Wilmot, 18, and Mark McKee, 19, are being watched by several Premier League and European clubs, but Boro chairman Phil Wallace said he wants to keep them at the Lamex Stadium for the second half of what he hopes will be a promotion-winning season.

If and when the time comes to sell the pair, Wallace wants any deals to be right for the club and the players.

“We are flattered at the interest from so many Premier League clubs for our young players, but we want to continue developing and improving them here for as long as possible,” Wallace told the club’s website.

“Spurs, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Burnley, Watford, Brighton, Bournemouth and West Brom have all registered interest and I am told there is also a top Bundesliga club that wants to speak to me.

“This isn’t an accident. It has taken us five years and a sizeable investment to get our academy to develop a conveyor belt of talent.

“Last Saturday in the FA Cup third round against Reading, we started three academy lads and had two more on the bench.

“Our role in the football pyramid is to develop and improve these young lads, so they can fulfil their potential.

“Our response to every call is the same, we want to continue improving our lads, so we can get the right deal for the club and the right deal for the player.”

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