ROVERS boss Tony Mowbray is delighted that Scott Wharton has committed his long-term future to the club by signing a new contract.

Wharton, who was in to the final 12 months of his previous deal, has agreed a new three year deal which will run to 2020.

The 19-year-old, who has made four senior appearances for the club, spent the second half of last season on loan at League Two side Cambridge United.

He has been hampered by two separate ankle injuries so far this season, but Mowbray sees a bright future ahead for the Salesbury-born defender.

“I’m delighted,” Mowbray said of Wharton signing the deal.

“It’s important that you have succession lines.

“I think back to my Middlesbrough days and sending Ben Gibson out on loan twice to Plymouth and Tranmere and he’s playing for England three days later.

“Scotty Wharton is a lad that I see on the training ground, not at this moment of course, who has some fantastic qualities.

“He’s a winner by nature, has a nice left foot that can pass the ball in to midfield or drop it over the top.

“Like Ben Gibson did, your body needs to fill out, you need to become a man and get used to what’s required to play against different types of centre forwards.

“I have every confidence and belief that the lad is going to be a very good player for this football club moving forward.

“At this moment he has a Mulgrew in his path, but as time rolls on, his physicality and game will grow whether that’s by staying here and playing the odd game for us, for the Under-23s, send him out on loan again to play more league football, we will wait and see.

“But I’m confident he will be a firm fixture in the team moving forward.”