PROMISING winger Keith Treacy has been tipped to make a major impact at Blackburn next season after putting pen to paper on a new four-year contract with the club.

The 18-year-old Dubliner, who has been hailed as the new Damien Duff' in his native Ireland, has committed his long-term future to the club by agreeing terms until the summer of 2011.

After catching the eye of manager Mark Hughes, Treacy forced his way into the first team squad towards the back end of last season, and even made the bench for the final home game against Reading.

Now the club are hoping the talented wide-man can make the next step up in his career and force his way into the first team squad on a regular basis from the beginning of next term.

Chairman John Williams said: "It was an important deal to get Keith signed up on a longer contract.

"He's someone who's shown a lot of promise during his time at the club and Mark thinks highly of him.

"Mark brought him into the periphery of the squad towards the end of last season, and we've since secured his future by rewarding him with a four year contract.

"Now we are all hoping he can make that next step up and force his way into the squad on a more regular basis."

Treacy joined Rovers' Academy in the summer of 2005 after being spotted playing for Belvedere, a schoolboy team in his home city, by scout Gerry Cassidy.

After making his debut as a 16-year-old in a pre-season friendly at Grimsby two years ago, he has since gone on to shine for the club's reserve side, and Sean McCaffrey, the manager of Ireland's U19s, is convinced he is good enough to cut it in the Premiership.

"Keith isn't too far away at Blackburn and I think he's ready for it," said McCaffrey in a recent interview.

"I have worked with a lot of good strikers in my time with the Irish teams.

"I have had Kevin Doyle, Shane Long, Anthony Stokes and Stephen Elliott, who have all done well for the Irish senior team, and Keith Treacy is up there with them.

"He could be as good as Kevin Doyle (at Reading).

"He has great skill, he is strong and quick, he reads the game well, and if he lives up to his potential he could be some player.

"I have watched him for the Blackburn reserves and he has really shone."