Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Starlets' Chance to Shine

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Starlets' Chance to Shine

Article excerpt

Byline: PHILIP TALLENTIRE

TONY Mowbray has challenged Seb Hines and Richard Smallwood to earn regular first team starts after signing new long-term Boro deals.

The Academy duo are respectively the fifth and sixth home-grown starlets to commit themselves to the club in a matter of a few weeks after deals were concluded with Cameron Park, Connor Ripley, Luke Steele and Joe Bennett.

It's a sign that Boro believe the future lies in developing their own young stars and that they want to avoid a repeat of the David Wheater saga, when they had to let a valuable asset leave for a reduced fee rather than lose him for nothing.

As revealed in yesterday's Gazette, Hines, from Wetherby, has penned a two-and-a-half year contract, while Smallwood, from Dormanstown, has signed an 18-month deal.

Mowbray said: "For me this is the chance for Seb to grab his opportunity in the first team.

"There is a vacancy in central defence through the sale of David Wheater and we also have Stephen McManus on the injury list at the moment. …

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