Will Keaton Ward remain a Stag next season?

Keaton Ward on his full Stags debut last weekend.Keaton Ward on his full Stags debut last weekend.
Keaton Ward on his full Stags debut last weekend.
Mansfield Town will hold talks with midfielder Keaton Ward to determine if the youngster will remain at the club next season.

Having come through the Stags Academy, Ward, 20, moved on to Barnsley but returned to the One Call Stadium as a free agent as cover for the last two months of this season.

He finally made an impressive full debut against Oldham last weekend but manager Nigel Clough said: “We have not got round to talking to one or two of the youngsters as yet, so Keaton is still to be sorted.

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“I am not sure what he wants to do in terms of playing every week.

“This is the thing with the youngsters – we are not in a position to offer him first team football every week.

“But there might be a possibility of him being part of the squad going forward.”

He added: “We plan the squad of about 17-18 of good, established professionals and then we sort of try to have four or five youngsters just outside of that with the first team squad.

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“You always get 10 per cent injured so you're down to 16 anyway and then you dip into the youngsters.

“We will have this group that go out on loan but are with the first team every day, then rather than go to other clubs for loans we can use our own.”