IAN Harte revealed the decision to extend his Cherries stay had been easy to make on the back of a stellar second half to the campaign.

The 36-year-old left-back today signed a one-year contract extension, committing himself to the Dean Court outfit until the summer of 2015.

Harte, who is 90 days older than boss Eddie Howe, has been ever-present in Cherries’ past 16 Championship matches after Charlie Daniels suffered a torn thigh muscle against Huddersfield in January.

Since then, the former Republic of Ireland international has added a different dimension to Howe’s side, the set-piece specialist also weighing in with a wonder strike at Birmingham last month.

And while Harte admitted to enduring a shaky start to life in Dorset, his own form combined with Cherries’ upturn in fortunes quickly convinced him to stay put.

“I’m delighted,” said Harte. “We have been talking for the past week to 10 days but as soon as the gaffer said he wanted to keep me, I was only too happy to stay.

“We were getting towards the end of the season and I needed to know what was going on because I have a young family, but it was an easy decision.

“It’s great to put pen to paper, the team is going places and it’s great to be part of that.

“In the first few games I played in, I wasn’t up to my normal standards but when Charlie (Daniels) got injured the manager gave me a chance.

“That’s where you need a big squad and I think the team has been doing fantastically well.

“It’s been enjoyable. We’ve kept some clean sheets and have been on a decent run of late.”