Tough task for youth players offered deals

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Mansfield Town boss Steve Evans congratulated the club’s youth team on retaining the league title and said at least two or three of them would be offered professional deals next season.

However, he warned it would be far harder for players to get near his first team next time around with the quality of players he is chasing this summer.

John Dempster’s side clinched the title with a 2-1 win over Burton Albion on Saturday and Evans said: “It’s not about the winning, it’s about player development and getting players ready to join the U21s and into the senior squad.

“But you’re always doing a lot right if you’re winning those competitions as it means you have the pick of the best players. Best players normally win promotions and titles.

“I am really pleased for the kids and the staff and I am really pleased for the parents of the kids as it shows when they go home at night, what they talk about and how they are getting prepared to develop as young men and footballers really helps.”

He added: “I think there are two or three in the pipeline who are going to be offered deals.

“Paul and I like watch them at different times so we don’t share opinions during the game but there is three or four who may get deals.

“But they have to earn them. There is a difference in coming in here last year and getting near the first team and what you will have to do this summer to get near the first team.”