Bradford City have announced that ‘rising star’ Reece Staunton has penned his first professional contract with the club.
The Bantams announced on Christmas Eve that the 18-year-old had put pen to paper to keep him at Valley Parade until the end of the 2021/22 season.
The Irish youth international is currently on loan at National League North side Bradford Park Avenue and is currently the Bantams youngest ever player, making his debut for the club in 2017 at just 15 years and 332 days.
Staunton has been with the club for several years having signed as a junior under-11 and made his league debut for the club in May 2018 during a 1-1 draw with Scunthorpe United.
Speaking to the club’s official media channels, Staunton said: “After a number of years of hard work, I am absolutely delighted to have signed a professional contract with my hometown club, it means a huge amount to me and I am excited about what the future holds.”
Pointing to current Bantams players for inspiration, Staunton singled out fellow academy graduate Danny Devine as an example that the club can reward their academy graduates.
“Danny Devine has come through the ranks here and made over 50 appearances at first-team level. I would love to follow in his footsteps,” the 18-year-old told the club’s official media channels.
Bantams manager Gary Bowyer expressed his delight in securing Staunton’s services for the next few years by saying: “We are delighted to get the deal over the line, it is important for us to be producing our own and this club has a history of doing so, it is great Reece has accepted our offer and we are thrilled to have him tied down. The hard work starts now, as he looks to push forward.”
Bowyer has previously spoken of how the club is trying to promote the youth at the club and this deal represents just that.
Staunton is clearly highly rated at Bradford City and the new deal should suggest the 18-year-old has an exciting few years to come.
Although currently on loan in the National League North, Staunton will be keen to impress his manager and team-mates when he returns to the Bantams and he may well be eyeing a breakthrough into the first team in 2020.
How much can you remember about Bradford City’s 2019? Test your knowledge in our quiz!