A TRIO of Wanderers’ successful Under-18s squad have been handed two-year professional contracts at the club, and four others have accepted one-year extensions to their current scholarship deals, The Bolton News can reveal.

Highly-rated forwards Zach Clough and Chris Lester, who was in the squad for last night’s Championship clash with Huddersfield, have been rewarded for their displays in the U18s and U21s ranks this campaign.

Luke Woodland, who was called up to the England U18s squad earlier this season, has also been offered a two-year contract despite missing several weeks through injury.

In addition to those three, Tom Youngs, Niall Maher, Glenn Matthews and keeper Jan-Ole Sievers will all stay on for a third year as scholars with the incentive to also gain professional deals if they impress Dougie Freedman.

The only second-year apprentice not to be offered any terms is Dylan Wolstenholme, but U18s coach David Lee says that was solely based on the strength in depth in midfield rather than a reflection of his displays.

It is a big pat on the back for Lee, Tony Kelly and academy chiefs Jimmy Phillips and Sammy Lee to see so many kept on after a season that has seen the U18s reach the quarter finals of the FA Youth Cup and compete in the Elite Group of the Premier League’s U18s competition.