Albion have awarded under-21s captain Glen Rea an improved and extended contract until 2016.

Sussex-born Rea has impressed Chris Hughton since he took over as manager with his performances for the development team and when he has been added to the first team group.

Hughton, who named him on the bench for the FA Cup tie against Arsenal, said: "When I came into the club I knew the first team players well but the younger players not so well, so you are briefed on how the club have seen that development group.

"Certainly he was one brought to my attention but you have to assess for yourself and I like what I've seen from Glen.

"He's versatile. I've seen him play at centre-half and centre midfield in the under-21 games.

"He is a mature lad and when he has come into the first team group to train he certainly hasn't let himself down.

"He has done well enough and I've seen enough in him to want to secure his services for a little bit longer."

Rea has been an unused substitute for the first team several times this season.

The 20-year-old was selected by the Republic of Ireland under-21s in November after qualifying through a grandparent.