CHERRIES midfielder Gavin Kilkenny has put pen-to-paper on a new contract.

As reported by the Daily Echo earlier this week, the 19-year-old, a Republic of Ireland under-21 international, has agreed a new long-term deal with the Dorset club.

Chief executive Neill Blake told the club website: "I’m delighted that Gavin has signed a new long-term contract at the club.

"He has huge potential and has made real progress over the past six months to become a regular around the first team squad.

"Gavin fully deserved his first-team debut earlier this season but this is just the start for him, and we look forward to him continuing his development under Eddie Howe and his coaching staff."

Kilkenny, who joined Cherries as a 16-year-old in August 2016, featured for Howe’s men in friendlies against Girona and Brentford in the summer, as well as scoring and being named man-of-the-match against Lyon.

The Beaumont-raised star started both of Cherries’ Carabao Cup fixtures in the first-team this campaign, as well as three Premier League Cup group games for Shaun Cooper’s under-21s.

He was named in a top-flight squad for the first time during last month’s 3-2 defeat at Tottenham.