Bradford City are delighted to announce the signing of rising star Reece Staunton, who has put pen to paper on a professional contract which will keep him at the Utilita Energy Stadium until at least the end of the 2021/22 season.
The 18-year-old has spent several years developing within City’s academy ranks, having been initially signed as an under-11s junior.
The Irish youth international, currently on loan at neighbouring Bradford Park Avenue, has already made four first-team appearances.
He made his debut back in 2017 and became the youngest player to ever feature in claret and amber - aged 15 years and 332 days.
Staunton said: “After a number of years of hard work, I am absolutely delighted to have signed a professional contract with my hometown club.
“It means a huge amount to me and I am excited about what the future holds.
“I want to finish this season on a high and then kick on. Having had a taste of first-team football, I am determined to try and push towards a place in the main squad.
“Danny Devine has come through the ranks here and made over 50 appearances at first-team level. I would love to follow in his footsteps.
“Next season - and throughout pre-season - I will have the opportunity to work with the main squad and I feel it will only benefit me as a player.
“This season has been great. At under-18s level, we are preparing for our fourth-round FA Youth Cup game against Chelsea and are progressing well in the league.
“Bradford City is keen to promote young talent and I will be looking to repay the club's faith next season and beyond.”
Bantams boss Gary Bowyer is pleased to have secured Staunton’s services, insisting the former Ossett United loanee has a big future.
“We are delighted to get the deal over the line, it is important for us to be producing our own and this club has a history of doing so," he added.
“It is great Reece has accepted our offer and we are thrilled to have him tied down. The hard work starts now, as he looks to push forward.
“When I first arrived at the club, the academy staff rightly identified Reece as a player, along with a few others, who could potentially break into the first team.
“We have had a plan for him since then. He has been out to the non leagues and has worked his way through the pyramid, firstly with Ossett United and, more recently, Bradford Park Avenue.
“The sooner a young player can be subjected to men’s football, the better. It is massive for their development and we can already see the benefits.
“Over the years, I have seen the impact academies can have. It is something which means a great deal to supporters, as they love to see their own out there representing the club.
“Reece now has some security, for the next couple of years, and I am sure he will take his opportunity with both hands.”