TOM Kennedy has boosted Shakers by putting pen to paper on a new two-year contract.

Boss Graham Barrow has shown great faith in the 18-year-old left back, the son of former Shakers' favourite Keith Kennedy, who played more than 400 games for the club in the 1970s and 1980s in the same position.

The Bury-born youngster has repaid his manager with some sterling displays in recent weeks.

"It's great news to get Tom signed up and he fully deserves his contract," said Barrow.

"There is a lot of good work going on behind the scenes at the club on the youth side, as the likes of Tom, Dave Nugent and Jon Cartledge prove."

The manager can now set to work building for next season and has already got his eye on a number of players, including Everton's Steven Schumacher.

The combative midfielder, who has been on loan at both Carlisle United and Oldham Athletic this term, almost signed for the Shakers in a transfer deadline deal on Thursday.

Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond the club's control, the deal fell through, but Barrow is still hoping to pick up the 19-year-old Scouser in the summer.

"We hope he is going to come and train with us and play a couple of games," explained Barrow.

"He's a tough tackling midfielder and the kind of lad we will need as the squad isn't strong enough at the moment."

With that in mind former Oldham midfielder Paul Rickers was signed on non-contract terms till the end of the season, and his versatility could be important as the season enters the home straight

"We wanted some cover on deadline day and didn't manage to get Dave Challinor," he added.

"Paul costs us nothing because he is a free agent and we may need him with Chally