CHERRIES star Eunan O’Kane is targeting promotion to the Premier League after penning a new contract at Dean Court.

The 23-year-old midfielder today signed a deal that will tie him down until the end of the 2016/17 season and then admitted that the club’s top-flight ambition matched his own.

A big hit since signing from Torquay at the beginning of the last campaign, O’Kane believes Cherries have an excellent chance of gaining promotion from the Championship by the time his deal runs out.

He told the Daily Echo: “The club has shown me enough over the last 18 months to suggest that there are huge strides being taken to get to the top level as soon as possible.

“That was part of the reason that I was more than happy to sign. The club’s goals mirror mine in the long-term and if I can be part of that and help Bournemouth get there then great.

“There’s no one that comes in here every day and thinks they are content to stay in the Championship. As a professional footballer you want to keep bettering yourself and play against better players.

“There’s an awful lot of work that goes on behind the scenes to progress the club and to take us to that next stage.

“The owner (Maxim Demin) has shown ambition to strengthen the squad this year and if we can add one or two and continue to progress, then there’s no reason why can’t be looking to make that step up before my contract runs out.

“For now we want to make sure we’re considered an established Championship club and hopefully in the next few years we can talk about making the next step.”

O’Kane admitted it had been a straightforward decision to commit his future and revealed that boss Eddie Howe had played a significant role in his decision.

He said: “I’m over the moon. There was never any doubt in my mind that I would sign, it just took a little while to get where it needed to be.

“Thankfully we’ve got something that the club feels is good for them and is good for me, so now we can move on together.

“(Howe) is the type of manager that suits me, so he was a very big factor in me signing.

“We’ve got a good relationship and he’s a very good manager. He knows what he’s talking about and I’m only going to become a better player for being around him.”

Meanwhile, Cherries striker Jayden Stockley has extended his loan at League Two Torquay until the end of the season.