Marcos Painter, Birmingham City's exciting teenage defender, has agreed to stay at St Andrew's for the next three years.
The 19-year-old, who is currently on international duty with the Republic of Ireland Under-21 side, has given Blues a huge boost by committing his future to the club he has supported since boyhood.
Painter, a tough-tackling defender who operates at left-back or centre-half, was out-of-contract after his one-year deal expired.
And with an unwanted tribunal looming on the horizon should Blues fail to agree terms and the player departed, all parties were keen to finalise the deal.
The defender, who made his full Premiership debut in the 1-0 win over Fulham, was delighted to pen a fresh contract.
He said: "I always wanted to stay at Blues. The contract negotiations were dragging on but I didn't really want to go anywhere else.
"I never had any doubt that once everyone got together that it would be sorted out.
"It's great. I mean, it's all I ever wanted because this is the club I support. Now I can concentrate on getting us back in to the Premiership."
Painter had signed for 12 months this time last season and, although he hadn't set himself any targets for the 2005-06 season, he certainly has some next term. "I played five times," he said, "and hadn't really set myself any targets.
"I went back to pre-season, worked hard, and was called over to Norway for the pre-season tour because of a problem at left-back.
"It has just gone on from there really. Now, I just want to play, but that's not my only target. I especially want to play because I want to get us back into the Premiership."
Painter adopts a refreshing attitude and it continues the marked change in the wake of relegation with the teenager's decision reflecting well on the coaches in the club's academy.
Painter joins Mat Birley, David Howland and Asa Hall who have all been given one-year professional deals as the club contemplates life in the Championship. ..SUPL: