Date: 21st April 2015 at 6:13pm
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Southampton’s future plans continue a pace as two new scholars end that stage of their development and signing deals keeping them at the club until 2018.

Academy graduates Will Wood and Armani Little have both signed their first professional deals with the club and signed terms on three year deals.

Defender Wood has been a regular in the Under 21 side this season and today’s contract signing capped a fine 24 hours for him as he helped Martin Hunter’s side to Premier League Cup glory last night in the game against Blackburn – but more about that later.

Little has also made the step up to Under 21 football this season as points, as well as skippering our Under 18 side this season.

Both players will make the Development Squad step up in 2015-16 following these deals.

In interviews carried by saintsfc Wood explained firstly.

‘It feels amazing. It`s a big step really to sign a professional deal and I`m looking forward to the three years ahead. I`ve been at the club since I was 11, so I don`t know any different really. I trialled at a few places before coming to Southampton, but I thought ‘this is the club for me`.’

Little added about his deal.

‘I`m just delighted, really proud – it`s a proud day for me and my family. I`ve worked really hard for this, so I`m really excited to get started. I`ve been here for four or five years now, so I`m really at home. The club`s always trying to develop players into the first team – it`s a good place to be at the moment.’

Going back to Wood, he did a second interview following a whirlwind 24 hours for him, saying that for a youngster it’s important to see a pathway through and Southampton more than have that given the players we’ve developed over the years.

‘Coming in as an 11 year-old, you look at the players who are coming through then, Alex Chamberlain, players like that, and you think ‘wow`. Obviously now I`ve got three years, so I`ve got three years to develop until I`m 21 so I`m looking to get into the first team and even make an appearance, but that`s all in the future. I`ve just got to carry on training well, playing well and hopefully that will come. The likes of Bale, Lallana, Luke Shaw, Calum Chambers, Prowsey, you can go on. Players that I played with on Monday night, they`re good players – most of them have played for the first team. It shows that the club puts faith in the young players, and I don`t think I could be at a better place really.’

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