Luton Town teenager Kavan Cotter has penned his first professional deal with the club.
The midfielder, who joined Hatters’ academy as an U13 after previously being with QPR and Arsenal, was the only second-year scholar to be offered a contract with the first team this summer.
Speaking to the club’s official website, Cotter, 18, said: “It feels great. I’ve been working hard for this for a long time and it just feels nice to finally put pen to paper.
“Hopefully I can get in the first team soon.
“It’s what everyone’s main goal is, to get their first professional contract. But I know there is a lot more to be done so I’ll keep working hard and hopefully get there one day.”
The Hemel Hempstead-based youngster already has one senior appearance to his name, having played at right-back in the 2-1 Checkatrade Trophy win at Gillingham last August.
I know there is a lot more to be done so I’ll keep working hard and hopefully get there one day.Kavan Cotter
He continued: “That was great, one of the best nights of my life.
“I just remember being in the meeting, seeing my name down as starting – and I’d never had that feeling before.
“The fans were great as well. There was a lot of us involved and I was quite nervous, but it was a good day.”
With the likes of James Justin having made 40 appearances this season, Cotter knows there is a pathway available if he continues to impress manager Nathan Jones, adding: “It does give everybody hope if you see them doing it.
“It just gives you more determination to try and do it yourself.”
Meanwhile, departing U18s boss Paul Driver was delighted to see Cotter follow in the footsteps of his previous captain Frankie Musonda, who led the U18s to the quarter-finals of the FA Youth Cup in 2015-16.
He added: “Kav’s done really well.
“He played in the U18s as a 16-year-old, often at full-back rather than his natural midfield role, which got him ahead of himself.
“He was very positive throughout the Youth Cup run and it stood him in good stead for this season.
“It was testament to his ability that he was able to turn in such an accomplished performance at Gillingham as a right-back, and he’s been the stand-out player for me this year.
“He deserves his chance and I’ll be following his career with interest.”