TEENAGE defender Liam Angel says he “couldn’t ask to be in a better place” after signing his first professional contract with Newport County AFC.

The central defender turns 17 on March 17 and put pen to paper after County’s victory against Mansfield Town at Rodney Parade on Saturday, in front of the board of directors and his family.

“I am very happy to have signed my first professional contract, at what is such a great club,” Angel told the club website.

“This club gives youngsters chances and we have seen over the past few months that young players from the squad have progressed on to high profile moves.

“I just want to keep progressing on my game and carry on working hard. I want to pinpoint areas where I can get better and it's all up to me now to keep on improving.”

The Wales under-17 international, who helped his country win the Victory Shield in 2014, has been training with the Exiles first team over the past few weeks and he’s enjoyed the experience.

“The boys have been great with me,” said Angel. “There is a good atmosphere around the training ground and they are all top professionals.

“I couldn’t ask to be in a better place at the moment.”

Manager Warren Feeney said: “Liam’s been training with us and I think he’s a fantastic prospect.

“We’ve got good kids coming through and I want to push them on like we’ve seen with Regan Poole. It’s important for a club like us.

“He’s trained with us and he doesn’t look out of place and I think he’s going to be one for the future for this football club.”

Angel joined the Exiles academy last year after Cardiff City opted not to offer the young defender a scholar’s contract despite his achievements with the Wales under-16s side.

The former Pontllanfraith Comprehensive pupil, who was Cardiff under-16s skipper, was a key part of the national side that won the prestigious Victory Shield in November 2014 – the first time Wales had lifted the trophy outright since 1949.

Angel scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over England in Bangor before Wales beat Scotland 2-1 in Perth and Northern Ireland 2-0 in Ballymena.