Harrison Reed has become the latest Saints Academy scholar to commit his future to the club.
Reed is a tenacious and hard-working midfielder, who has successfully stepped up into the Under-21s set up under the tutelage of Martin Hunter.
He broke into the Development Squad towards the end of last season, which preceded his inclusion on the 21s’ pre-season preparations earlier this summer.
‘Harry’ joins the likes of Jordan Turnbull, Omar Rowe, and Jack Stephens in the Development Squad to commit their immediate futures with the club, who will be hoping to push their careers on at the club over the next 12 months.
18 year-old Reed was a part of the same scholarship group as James Ward-Prowse, Luke Shaw, and Calum Chambers, and he is now looking forward to the challenge of following in his close friends’ footsteps.
“It’s great and actually a bit of a relief to have signed because I was going into this season thinking that it was my last one, so obviously I’m delighted to have signed a new contract extension,” he told saintsfc.co.uk after putting pen-to-paper.
“There are a few others who have stepped up and gone into the First Team, so I’m looking to follow in their footsteps and hopefully put myself in and around the First Team picture.”
Reed has started both of the U21s’ league matches so far in the new campaign and the midfielder revealed that his confidence has gone up since getting an early goal against Middlesbrough during the squad’s pre-season tour of the north east.
“That was good. I’ve been looking to score goals and to start scoring early on was great.
“I think the whole trip was really beneficial. The team bonded well and for me personally, it was a good trip. I got my fitness in and some game time ready for the start of the season.
“I played a few games for the 21s last season so coming into pre-season I felt good and at that time I spoke to Martin (Hunter) who was pleased with my development. We’ve had two tough first games against Liverpool and Chelsea, but I think we’ve done quite well.
“I’ve been working on my all round game really,” he added. “My first touch and technical ability have improved and I wanted to break into the 21s which I’ve done and the coaches have been pleased, so I just need to keep progressing.
“Martin has asked me to play in a more advanced role sometimes, but I know that I also need to level that off and manage my game. It’s my place to lose now so I’m looking to keep clear of injury and put in some solid performances.”
With Ward-Prowse, Shaw and Chambers all having played in last weekend’s Premier League success at West Bromwich Albion, Harrison can see that the route to First Team football is there. He has seen first-hand the impact it has made on the players that he has trained with through the youth system at the club.
“I speak with them all,” he said. “I live with Calum so I speak with him on a daily basis and he’s buzzing at the minute and I am buzzing for him too.
“It’s good to see that there’s a pathway here so I’m looking to follow people like that which this contract will allow me to do.”