Wilson proud of academy products as bids come in

Kevin Wilson
Kevin Wilson

Ilkeston FC manager Kevin Wilson says the New Manor Ground could soon start becoming a valuable production line of talent now awareness of the club’s young players is growing at pace.

A large number of scouts representing clubs as high as the Premier League have frequented Ilkeston matches this season, with several of the current squad bound to have caught their eye.

And whilst Che Adams looks set to depart Ilkeston once a deal can be agreed with any one of the numerous clubs bidding for his services, Wilson believes other players could soon follow.

He said: “It’s no secret the scouts have mostly been here looking at Che but whilst watching him they’ll have no doubt seen more players they like the look of.

“It’s about creating awareness of the talent we have here, and while we obviously want to benefit from those players for as long as possible on the pitch, the reality is that those who move to higher levels are going to prove valuable assets to us long after they’ve left.

“So many players over the years have been spotted by chance when scouts have perhaps been looking at other players, so the interest in Che is a great chance for our other youngsters to impress as well.”

Adams has reportedly generated something of a bidding war amongst his suitors, with clubs now seemingly having seen more than enough to justify splashing out on the 18-year-old.

Wilson added: “I’ve had Che here for two years now and I’ve always had a feeling he could go on and play at the top level.

“When I was manager at Northampton I brought Steve Howard in and felt the same way, and sure enough he did play at the top level.

“Che has done exceptionally well and when he goes we will aim to produce more like him and the process can start again, hopefully creating a production line of talent that people will take notice of if it keeps bearing fruit.”

With that in mind, Wilson says he is hoping to do deals to keep defender Joe Burgess and midfielder Henry Randall at the New Manor Ground after they impressed in their opening fortnight with the club - both having played in under-21 matches over that period and Burgess getting 90 minutes in the FA Trophy at St Neots.

Wilson said: “Our model is a bit unique but a lot of other clubs are looking at what we’re doing and thinking about going the same way.

“I’m proud of what we have here and the progress we’re making, particularly on a first team level as although we’re only 17 games in we’re learning all the time and by and large playing very well.”

Meanwhile, the Robins were denied any action at all this week with both the home league game with Frickley and the Doodson Cup tie at Matlock falling victim to waterlogged pitches, the latter re-arranged for next Tuesday night.

Wilson added: “It’s frustrating but there’s nothing you can do.

“We’ll now go to Whitby on Saturday for the first of three tough Saturday away games coming up and quickly look to blow away any cobwebs that might have formed from not playing in two weeks.”