Stevenage boss Sarll: Mark McKee has been a revelation
PUBLISHED: 11:45 23 December 2017
Danny Loo Photography 2017
Stevenage FC manager Darren Sarll has praised Mark McKee following the youngster's impressive displays.
The 19-year-old has made 11 appearances in all competitions this season – starting in Boro’s last four Sky Bet League Two matches.
McKee’s performances have delighted his manager, with Sarll describing the Northern Irishman as a ‘top player’.
The Stevenage boss told CometSport: “He’s a top player, a promising talent and the name that should be on everyone’s lips.
“He ran the game against Coventry and the experienced Michael Doyle.
“He came on against Mansfield, in what has to be the most hostile atmosphere in League Two, against Jacob Mellis and Joel Byrom. He ran the game.
“He then played against Cambridge and ran the game.
“Having the influence he’s having, there can’t be another 19-year-old central player who can play like Mark is at the minute.
“He’s been a revelation for us. He’s allowed us to play more football than we were because of his quality.
“At the moment, he’s passing every challenge I can throw in front of him with flying colours and he’s been an absolute joy to work with.”
It was former youth coach Sarll who spotted McKee during a trip to Northern Ireland, with the youngster joining from Cliftonville for an undisclosed fee in the summer of 2015.
Now at the first-team helm, Sarll has stuck to his roots, using youth extensively throughout his near two-year reign.
This season has seen a Boro academy graduate feature in all but one game, something that the 34-year-old is not surprised about.
“I’m not surprised, I’m proud. Stevenage should be seen as one of the top producers of young players,” he said.
“If there has been a player involved in every game bar one there is a real reality when we tell our young players there’s a pathway at this football club.
“It’s really pleasing and it’s obviously great for me because that group of lads is my group that I brought to the club, especially the Irish boys.
“We’ve had a vision here for five or six years and it’s coming to the fore now.”