Preston North End left back Josh Earl has signed a new contract with the club until at least the summer of 2021.
The Lilywhites’ No.3, who came through the club’s Academy system, signs his third professional deal in 18 months, after progressing from his scholarship in the summer of 2017.
The 20-year-old has already made 30 first team appearances for the club, despite starting his first season as a pro behind experience international Greg Cunningham and has impressed manager Alex Neil since he took up the Deepdale hot seat.
Speaking about the defender, the manager said: “Josh is getting better and better and we look forward to continuing to work with him. He has had a mixed season so far, starting the season out of the side, working hard to get back in, getting injured and then suspended, but he has a bright future ahead of him.
“He is developing as a player and with the likes of Paul Gallagher around, with his experience, to help along the way, we are very hopeful he can fulfil the potential we all believe that he has.”
Josh himself is looking forward to continuing the affiliation with the Lilywhites, which already stretches back more than a decade.
He said: “I have been at the club since I was nine-years-old and they keep showing faith in me and it is really good to be at a club like that. Everyone can see that the manager believes in the younger players and that there is no age too young if you are good enough and ready, so it is nice he has shown faith in me.
“It is a good pick me up and a good boost to make me work as hard as I can do to try and work my way back into the team. This [new contract] gives me the chance to push myself, to try and build on what I have done and try and become the best player I possibly can be over the next two-and-a-half years.
“It gives you a real boost when you get offered a new contract; it shows that the club believe in you and it is always an exciting time for you and now I can hopefully push on and show everyone what I can do.”