Rovers prospect Isaac Whitehall has agreed a two-and-a-half year professional deal.

Whitehall is the first of Rovers’ current Under-18s crop to sign professional terms with the club and comes as reward for his impressive progress this season.

Not 18 until March, Whitehall has already become a regular member of Billy Barr’s Under-23s this season, and will captain the Under-18s in their FA Youth Cup fourth round tie with Charlton Athletic at Ewood Park next Tuesday.

Despite only being a first year scholar, Whitehall has played nine times in Premier League 2 for Rovers Under-23s in a number of positions.

Naturally a ball-playing central defender, the 17-year-old has also been used at right back and in central midfield.

Whitehall has also trained with the Republic of Ireland at youth level and has been at Rovers since the age of 12.

And Under-23s boss Barr said: “We think a lot of him

“He’s played right back, left back, centre half, centre mid, he has looked like a marauding winger at times.

“We think a lot of him, it’s just making sure we manage his workload as well because he’s still only an Under-17.

“He’s done really well. He’s the one that’s stood out in the second year group and said ‘pick me’ through his performance and he deserves his go.”