Central defender handed professional contract.YOUTH team skipper, Matt Preston has become the latest player from Neil Woods' successful youth team to put pen-to-paper on a professional contract here at Banks's Stadium.
The talented central defender has signed an 18-month deal, with an option in our favour at the end of it, following some extremely impressive displays at both youth and reserve team level over the past couple of seasons.
"Matt has excelled for the under-18s," said manager, Dean Smith. "He has also done well whenever he's stepped up to the reserves and fully deserves this early reward.
"He has so much potential; he is what I would describe as a proper defender who enjoys keeping the opposition at bay. He can only get better and I look forward to having him under my wing.
"The hard work is only just beginning for him, but I know that he will really knuckle down and give his all."
The 17 year-old, who hails from Birmingham, follows in the footsteps of tigerish midfielder, Reece Flanagan, who signed his first professional deal earlier this month.
"I didn't expect to be offered this deal at this stage, to be honest," admitted Preston. "I'm very pleased that my progress has been rewarded in this way and I intend to get my head down and work hard to show people what I can do and move on to the next level in my development.
"I feel that I have made great strides over the past few seasons and want to keep making progress. Working under Dean Smith can only benefit me; he's a former centre back himself and will teach me a lot.
"It's about doing the best I can. There is plenty of inspiration around me with players who have progressed through the ranks here and are now regulars in the first-team, so the opportunity is there for me and I intend to take it."