ROVERS midfielder Lewis Hardcastle has agreed a new one year extension with the club.

Hardcastle becomes the latest of Damien Johnson’s Under-23s side to sign a new deal, with his previous contract set to expire in the summer.

The 19-year-old joined Rovers at the age of six and is now looking to kick on and make his first-team breakthrough having become a key member of the Under-23s side who are riding high in the Premier League 2 Division Two table.

“It's great to get the deal signed. I've been here for 13 years and now it's time to kick on,” he told the club’s official website.

“The club have done a lot for me and treated me well. I want to stay here as long as possible. I've loved every minute of it.

“All the staff have always been nice to me and I've really enjoyed playing here. I hope that continues.

“When you are six-years-old you always have aspirations to be a footballer and now I'm delighted to put pen to paper at a big club.

“It's a massive achievement for anyone to sign a professional contract.”

Hardcastle featured for Rovers in pre-season and travelled with the first-team squad to Austria, coming off the bench in the defeat to Sparta Prague at the end of the summer trip.

Having had a taste of first-team football with Salford City in 2015/16, Hardcastle has high hopes for his season with the Under-23s as well as having first-team aspirations.

He added: “I hope the Under-23s can win the league and go into the top level. It's the best U23s side we've had for a while with the togetherness we have.

“We're all best mates really both on and off the pitch. That makes it so much easier to play with my team-mates.

“I'm really motivated to push on and get a first team chance and ultimately taking it. I think everyone's the same. We know there is always a chance of getting in the first team with this club.

“I'm ready to make progress and play in the first team sooner rather than later.”