Cambridge United youngster Liam Hughes has signed a two-year professional deal with the Blue Square Bet Premier club.
"It's brilliant to know all the hard work has paid off throughout the three years I've been here," he told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.
"To get offered a contract now is a great achievement."
Hughes has flourished under the guidance of caretaker boss Jez George, who brought the teenager through the club's youth academy.
"He's doing well but it's early days yet, it's important for the club to secure the best young players on contracts," said George.
"And it's important Liam knows our belief in him as a player, but equally we'd be the first to say to him he's got a lot of work to do yet."