Payne signs professional contract


Southampton Football Club is pleased to announce that young full-back Lewis Payne has put pen to paper on his first professional deal.

The 17-year-old has had a productive 12 months, making 32 appearances for the club's Under-18s side before breaking into the B team as reward for his consistent performances.

This season has been just as positive for the attack-minded defender, who has become a mainstay in Dave Horseman’s Premier League 2 side, often impressing against players two or even three years his senior.

Having scored three goals in his last two appearances, an in-form Payne commented: “It’s a good feeling; I feel like it’s been a long time coming.

“I’ve been working hard and it’s a good start hopefully. Obviously it’s a good club and you see players getting through all the time.

“They give youngsters good chances so hopefully I can be another one of them going forward.

“For me I need to carry on playing well. I’m still young so still got a lot of learning to do. But I feel like I can keep doing well.”