YORK City are hoping 15-year-old goalkeeping prodigy Ryan Whitley will continue to reject advances from bigger clubs despite being invited to train with the England set-up at St George’s Park.

Whitley will attend a two-day camp at the national football centre later this month with Three Lions selectors having joined the flock of Premier League scouts monitoring his progress in the Minstermen’s academy during recent months.

The Archbishop Holgate’s School pupil has already spent a day with last season’s Premier League champions Manchester City this term but he is a massive fan of his home-town club and academy manager Andy McMillan’s wish is for the ex-Fulford shot-stopper to one day play between the sticks at Bootham Crescent before perhaps going on to bigger and better things.

McMillan said: “In an ideal world, I’d like Ryan to stay here, do his two-year apprenticeship, get in the first team and, then hopefully, the club will get some decent money for him. He’s been a York season-ticket holder since he was eight and is a massive fan, who sits in the Main Stand at home games.

“I get phone calls from his dad on Saturday mornings asking if he can go to Northampton or Mansfield to watch the first team and, if I let him, he would go to all the matches, but I have to stop him because he’s got to do his training.

It’s great to have somebody like him, though, who is a York City fan attracting attention in our academy, while not really being bothered about bigger clubs because he wants to play for us.

“He’s raw and has still got a lot of work to do, but he’s got the right mentality. He’s only 15 but he’s 6ft 5in and still growing and reminds me a lot of Nick Pope.

“He’s the same sort of build and frame and is a hard worker, who’s never happier than when somebody is blasting balls at him.”

Whether Whitley will go on to represent City at senior level might depend on if he continues to progress at his current rate, however, with McMillan reasoning: “We’re getting calls galore from Premier League sides and he’s had offers to join other clubs but we’ve declined them, with the permission of Ryan’s parents, who want the best for their son and the academy.

“We’ve made the decision to decline any offers for him to go on trial but, if clubs are interested in him, they are welcome to come and watch him in a game and, if they really like him, they will need to make an offer under the EPPP (Elite Player Performance Plan) rules.

"I think he will probably go, which would be a shame for us, but he’s in our academy and we will be deciding, in consultation with his parents, what’s the best thing for Ryan whether that involves him moving on or staying.

“He’s already been offered a scholarship here, which protects us a bit more and, while there are EPPP guidelines for fees, there would be a lot of add-ons too, if he went on to achieve what we believe he can do.

"He will be involved with our youth team to compete with Kieren Price next season, as well as being in the under-16s, so he’ll be under a lot of pressure but young players need that and, if he can handle it, he will go through the roof but, if he can’t, he could fall by the wayside.

“I know England are really impressed with his attitude and, hopefully, if he does well, he will go back down to St George’s as well.

"His call-up is a massive achievement for Ryan and the academy and great recognition for the work Michael Ingham has put in with him over the last two months.”

As a City fan, Whitley has thrived on receiving specialist coaching from his childhood hero Ingham during Wednesday night academy sessions, where fellow U15 net-minder Sam Naylor, who has also received national recognition, is put through his paces too by the first team keeper.

Naylor has been selected for the Great Britain Catholic Schools’ team that will take part in a July tournament, held in Malta, that will feature sides from the likes of Brazil, Italy, France, Holland, Portugal and Spain.

City coach McMillan added: “Ryan’s getting a lot of attention but we’ve got a lot of good young keepers here and Sam is one of them. In fact, we are getting a lot of clubs interested in having a look at our players now.

“It’s taking time but, hopefully, we are beginning to produce players.”

Further upfield, U14s striker Gabby McGill, the son of City chairman Jason, is also a member of England’s Independent Schools’ squad, along with other academy players from clubs of Chelsea’s stature.

McMillan reasons such recognition helps rubbish all inevitable suspicions of nepotism at Bootham Crescent, saying: “There were always going to be accusations bout him being the chairman’s son but Gabby’s here on merit, as every player is. You have to be good enough and Gabby certainly is.

“He is on the verge of stepping up an age group and we have some good players in the U14s.”

York Press:

NET FORCE: Michael Ingham, pictured with Great Britain Catholic Schools’ international and York City U15 keeper Sam Naylor

FORMER York City striker Chris Jones will be selling signed copies of his autobiography “A Tale of Two Great Cities” in the Supporters Club office, next to the club shop, today between 12.30pm and 2.15pm.

Hardbacks will be on sale for £14.95, while paperbacks cost £10.95 with payment accepted by cash, card or cheque.

Personalised copies can also be purchased online by visiting www.ypdbooks.com or phoning 01904 431213.

KEITH LOWE has pulled clear at the top of The Press Player of the Year standings.

The 2013/14 winner is looking to secure the award for a second successive season having collected two points as our second-highest rated player from Monday’s 0-0 draw against Oxford.

Our star man at the Kassam Stadium Russell Penn (three) and third highest-rated performer Stephane Zubar (one) were also recognised with points for their efforts.

Penn and Dave Winfield, meanwhile, shared the two Player of the Month bonus points awarded to the winner of our online man-of-the-match poll.

To be in with a chance of presenting The Press Player of the Month prize for April, register your man- of-the-match vote for today’s game against Hartlepool by visiting our website at www.yorkpress.co.uk or tweeting @daveflettpress

The Press Player of the Year standings: Lowe 26 points, Coulson 24, Penn 24, Summerfield 19, Ilesanmi 18, Zubar 18, Hyde 17, McCoy 16, McCombe 14, Olejnik 14, Fletcher 11, De Girolamo 9, Ingham 9, Carson 8, Halliday 7, Montrose 7, Straker 7, Winfield 5, Coulthirst 4, Cisak 3, Jarvis 3, Platt 3, Benning 2, Sinclair 2.

The Press Player of the Month for April standings: Winfield 6, Penn 4, Lowe 2, Summerfield 2, Ingham 1, Zubar 1.

Goals: Hyde 10, Fletcher 7, Lowe 6, Coulson 4, De Girolamo 4, Summerfield 3, Carson 2, Coulthirst 2, Sinclair 2, Winfield 2, Penn 1, Zubar 1.

Assists: Coulson 11, Carson 5, Hyde 4, McCoy 3, Meikle 3, Penn 3, Summerfield 3, De Girolamo 2, Fletcher 2, McCombe 2, Halliday 1, Lowe 1, Montrose 1, O’Hanlon 1, Platt 1, Straker 1.

Bad boys: Penn one red, six yellow; Halliday one red, four yellow; McCoy five yellow; Carson four yellow; Hyde one red, two yellow; McCombe three yellow; Zubar one red, one yellow; Benning, Coulson, Fletcher, Ilesanmi, Montrose, Summerfield all two yellow; Jarvis one red; Lowe, Olejnik, Platt, Straker, Winfield all one yellow.