Young full-back Will Ferry has signed a two-year contract extension, Southampton Football Club can confirm, ahead of a season-long loan move to League Two side Crawley Town.
The 21-year-old Irish international, who joined the club from Bury back in 2017, featured in 16 of Ralph Hasenhüttl's matchday squads over the course of 2020/21, but is yet to make his senior bow.
Named Academy Young Player of the Year back in 2018/19, Ferry again proved an integral part of the club's B Team setup last term, but feels like testing himself consistently at senior level will give him the best opportunity to grow and develop.
“It’s a bit of a relief really,” said Ferry, after agreeing renewed terms on the south coast. “Now I can carry on my dream of making a career in football at a Premier League club.
“The club has shown their belief in me. They don’t just want me to go out and get football, they want me to prove that I can do it at men’s level and come back to hopefully do it in the Premier League.
“I feel like I’ve been here a lot longer than I have! I feel a lot better for what I’ve achieved and what I hopefully go on to achieve.
“Next season I want to prove to everyone what I can do. I want to get goals and assists. I don’t want to be another player who’s a part of the game. I want to put a stamp on the season and see where I can go from there.”
Academy Director Matt Hale said: “Firstly, it's great that Will has agreed a new contract with the club. Will was very consistent with his performances last year and adapted well to a change of position whilst playing in the B Team.
"A loan right now is the right move for Will and the next step in his progression with us, which will see him develop even further and gain some valuable playing experience in the football league (EFL)."
The club wishes Will well for the upcoming season and looks forward to seeing how he develops during his time at the People’s Pension Stadium.