YOUNGSTERS James Murphy and Bailey Jackson have been awarded 18-month contract extensions to the end of next season after impressing in the Welsh Premier League this season.

Murphy, who turns 19 at the end of this month, has scored two goals from 8 (+10) WPL appearances while 18-year-old Jackson has made five full appearances and six from the bench, deputising for Matty McGinn during injury absences.

"It's brilliant news for the football club and myself that both James Murphy and Bailey Jackson have signed 18 month contracts with the club," says director of football Andy Preece.

"The lads have done brilliantly this season thrown into difficult situations and excelled under pressure. 

"Spud (Murphy) has been involved in 22 games this season, 11 starts and four goals with a number of assists and he is more than likely to be the next one to progress to a higher level. 

"How we got him from Connah's Quay I will never know but the reputation of our academy and the opportunities we give in the first team obviously played a part.

"Bailey has been involved in 17 games with eight starts and has started four out of the last five games where we are unbeaten. 

"Again, if he develops in the way he is going, he will be making the steps up the ladder. 

"We have an unequalled record in developing young players especially for a top-six club. With massive help from Lee Starkey and Dave Riley, 15 academy players have made their debuts in my four years at the club, something that we are extremely proud of but which is very rarely acknowledged."

Photo: James Murphy and Bailey Jackson pen their new deals with director of football Andy Preece.