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New deals to spur on kids
Sami Hyypia hopes the award of new long-term deals to two of Albion’s brightest talents will inspire other youngsters at the club’s academy.
Midfielder Jake Forster-Caskey, 20, and goalkeeper Christian Walton, 18, have both committed their futures to the Seagulls by signing extended deals.
England under-21 international Forster-Caskey has agreed a new three-year deal until June 2017, while teenage prospect Walton, who impressed for England under-19s last season, has signed a four-year contract until 2018.
The duo join England under-21 winger Solly March, 19, and midfielder Rohan Ince, 21, on long-term deals and boss Hyypia wants others to follow in their footsteps.
Albion boss Hyypia said: “The progress of a number of the younger players here in the last 12 months has been very impressive and it’s great to be able to reward that with these new contracts.
“Jake and Christian both have bright futures ahead and with the right application and hard work, they can be key players for the club in the years ahead.
“Jake has already proved himself at first-team level and with England’s under-21s this summer; while Christian has made great progress in our under-21s under Simon Ireland and deservedly gained international recognition at under-19 level.
“I hope that their progress and these improved contracts will spur on all of our young players at the academy to push forward in their careers.
“It shows that we are not afraid to give young players with ability the opportunity to flourish at the highest level.”
Albion’s head of football operations David Burke said: “We are delighted to be rewarding Jake and Christian with extended terms. Both players have earned them with their hard work and the progress they’ve made.
“Praise is also due to the club’s coaches who’ve worked with the two players during their development, particularly under-21 coach Simon Ireland and goalkeeping coach Mark Mason, who’s also worked with Christian within the England set up.
“We have a strong structure here and excellent coaches across all the age groups and it shows we provide a genuine pathway through to the first-team.”
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