GLAMORGAN have moved to secure talented teen Alex Horton by giving the wicket-keeper/batsman from Newbridge a five-year contract.

The 16-year-old, who has already played for the county's second team and for Wales in the Minor Counties, will be at Sophia Gardens until at least the end of 2024 thanks to the deal.

Horton has long been tipped for the top since impressing for 'Bridge, making his first team debut for the Welfare Ground side at 13.

Last season he averaged 42.82 from 12 innings for the South Wales Premier Cricket League Two club, with his top score an unbeaten 98.

Horton will now aim to keep rising to the Glamorgan first team and has already been training with Matthew Maynard's seniors.

The first year of his contract will be on a development basis while studying his A-levels at St Edward's School in Oxford but the dream is to make it as a pro.

South Wales Argus:

"It's a massive privilege to get a long contract with my home club who've done a lot for me, and getting it at a young age means there's not a lot of pressure at the start, I just want to keep working hard and improving," said Horton.

"I'd like to play a bit of first-team cricket towards the end of the year and hopefully quite a lot of first-team over the next four years."

Horton is trying to follow in the footsteps of Crickhowell's Mark Wallace, a Glamorgan great who made his county debut aged 17 in 1999.

Wallace is now director of cricket at Glamorgan and believes the youngster has the talent – and the mentality – to break through.

"For somebody signing so young, it's about his maturity," said Wallace, who faced Horton as Newport captain against Glamorgan Colts last Saturday.

"He's been playing a long way above his age for a long time and looked unfazed by coming into the second team last year.

"He's absolutely ready for the professional arena which is why we've decided to invest in him long-term, he's a very talented and mature young man.

"There's a lot of work to be done, these are crucial years for him now and how he develops will have a big impact on how far he can go in the game."

South Wales Argus:

While Horton is dreaming of getting the first team call, Wallace stresses that they won't rush the bright prospect.

"He's a real talent, and especially for one so young, but we're very aware that right now it's about his development," he said.

"It's about him playing a mix of junior cricket at his age group, academy cricket and giving him exposure in the second team and with the pros where possible.

"We wouldn't be signing him to a contract if we didn't think he had the ability to play first team cricket in the not-so-distant future, but that doesn't mean it will be this season or next season.

"We won't hold him back because of his age – if he deserves to play he will but if he needs that extra stage of development he'll have that opportunity."