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International Call Up For Grimsby Youth Player

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 25/01/2002

IAN KNIGHT, the Youth Team boss, issued a statement today on Mariners Net: "We received news yesterday that Kirk Wheeler, who is an under 18 school boy currently attending Grimsby College has been selected for the final 16 England Under 18 squad that will travel to the USA in 2 or 3 weeks time."

"They'll be there for a fortnight and will play several games over there. Following that, he'll hopefully be involved with the schoolboy international matches for the remainder of the season."

"Kirk (a centre back) has been involved with the club now for about seven seasons. He came to us at about the age of 12, and then was released for a season. But he did well in the local leagues and was invited back to the School of Excellence."

"He's progressed through the age groups very well. He's continued that development over the last two years by attending Grimsby College, playing for the Youth Team over the weekends, and has had several appearances for the Reserves. So it's been a continual progression for Kirk."

"We're obviously delighted at his current form.

"It's always difficult to put a timescale on when a player may be challenging for a First Team spot, but we've talked to Kirk about next season. When we'd like to bring him in full-time, whether he comes in on a scholarship agreement or a professional contract."

"That's still to be finalised but he'll be in for full-time training, and hopefully that will continue his development and push him in the right direction for the first team."

On the proposed cut backs Knight said: "We can only continue to do what we know is right, and it's up to others at the club to tell us where any economies may come. Kirk Wheeler is a product of our system. Obviously everyone is delighted with that."



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