TEENAGER Jac Norris is looking forward to a “big season” after signing his first professional contract with Newport County AFC.

The 17-year-old academy star, who made three substitute appearances for the first team in League Two in April, was on a scholarship deal that was due to expire at the end of the 2024-2025 campaign.

But he has now put pen-to-paper on a two-year pro deal with the Exiles.

Since joining the club from Cwmbran Celtic’s youth set-up in 2021, the midfielder has made great strides with the academy, making his first team debut against Grimsby Town in April.

As well as breaking through to Graham Coughlan’s squad, he also played an integral part in the under-18s’ run to the FAW Youth Cup quarter-finals.

After signing, Norris said: “I’m absolutely delighted to get the deal done.

“There’s been a lot of work that has gone into this, both on and off the pitch, and I’m looking forward to what’s to come.

“Last season was a bit of a journey for me. I was injured through all of pre-season, I sort of managed to get back fit and got back into playing under-18s football.

“After playing a lot of minutes with them I feel like I developed really well and earned my chance with the first team.

“Since I’ve made the step up, I feel I’ve done well. I try to be as brave as I can, and I’ve learned a lot from the experienced peers around me.

“Next season is going to be a big season for me, and the goal is to play as much as I can with the first team. I don’t just want to be there to make the numbers up, I want to play, and I want to make an impact.”

Academy manager, Luke Hussey added: “I’m over the moon for Jac. He’s worked incredibly hard for this, and he has all the potential to be a top player.

“As an academy we identified Jac early on as someone who’s technically very sound and brave on the ball.

“Since making the step-up with the first team towards the back end of the season he has shown great progress and I’m looking forward to seeing him back out on the pitch next season.”

After handing Norris his professional debut in April, Coughlan was full of praise for the youngster.

“Jac is brave – he will accept the ball and try to play – and bravery has walked out of the door for us on the last four or five games,” said the Exiles boss.

“He has a long way to go in his career, but I have watched him on many occasions and we will work on the shape of his game, the discipline and the positioning.”

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