Jake Hesketh says the infrastructure and philosophy of the club left him with no doubt about signing a new deal at St Mary’s.
The midfielder has been with the club since the age of eight, progressing through the ranks before signing his first professional deal in 2014, before making his senior bow later that year against Burnley.
Personal progression has been in tandem with the rapid ascent of the club, something which he feels is unique.
“In the first year that I signed for the Academy, we were in the Premier League and I remember at the end of that season getting relegated,” Hesketh reflected.
“There was all the talk of administration and that was part of it all growing up.
“To see the club go from being on minus 10 points in League One to where we are now has been special.
“There is barely any other club that could do that. The infrastructure is really good and it’s something that reflects in the journey everyone has been on.”
Saints boss Claude Puel has handed a number of young players opportunities since his arrival in the summer.
It is a philosophy in keeping with that of the club and Hesketh says he hopes to continue to draw upon Puel’s vast experience in order to improve.
“It’s been really good. When he came in it was a new slate to work off and I think that motivates a lot of people.
“Going away on pre-season, all the young players had the same plans to get into his plans and luckily I’ve been in and around it quite a bit.
“His sessions are enjoyable and he’s got a lot of knowledge and experience which he’s built up. You can only learn from that.”