HIGHLY-rated Cherries striker Sam Surridge has been rewarded for his progress with an improved contract.

Surridge, who signed professional terms after graduating from the youth ranks in the summer, has agreed a new 18-month deal.

Wimborne-raised Surridge played locally for Bournemouth Sports and was a prolific goalscorer for the Cherries youth team, having joined the club as a 14-year-old.

Surridge caught the eye when he netted seven times during a recent loan spell with Poole Town and has attracted the attention of a host of Football League clubs.

The 18-year-old was on the verge of joining Gillingham on loan earlier this month until a change of manager at the Kent club saw the move fall through.

Cherries boss Eddie Howe and his staff have high hopes for Surridge and the frontman could be in line to be promoted to the first-team squad.

Speaking to the club website, Surridge said: "It's brilliant. I found out about a month ago and now I'm pleased to sign it and move forward.

"The loan move with Poole was brilliant. I was told that if I did well there, I could get rewarded with a contract. My aim is to keep scoring and showing that I can do well in the future.

"It's been easier for me back here since I was on loan and have experienced men's football. Physicality-wise I wouldn't say there's not a lot of difference but in terms of sharpness and technique the move helped a lot.

"I need to keep working every day and am hoping to get as close as possible to the first team, I want to keep training with them and then get towards making a first-team appearance."

Cherries’ under-21 captain Matt Worthington has also penned fresh terms, keeping him at the club at least until the summer of 2018.