Contract extensions for ex-youth players

Pictured from left to right are: Ryan, John, Euan and Darren.

Pictured from left to right are: Ryan, John, Euan and Darren.

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Three former Brechin City Youth players, and a player on loan to Brechin City, have had their contracts extended at Dundee United.

Former youth players, John Souttar (17), Ryan Gauld (17), Euan Spark (16) and on loan Darren Petrie (18), have all signed deals to secure their future at the Premiership team.

For Ryan Gauld it is not just an extended contract that he has to celebrate, he has also been named in the Scotland Under-21 squad for this month’s UEFA European Championship qualifier against Georgia at St Mirren Park tomorrow (Thursday) at 7.30 p.m.

Central defender John Souttar became the youngest ever first team player at United on January 2, aged 16 years and 100 days. He has now appeared 17 times for the first team and is a fixture within the first team squad.

Inchbare youngster Euan Spark’s committed defending ability is matched by his attitude and application. Euan likes to get forward from his full-back role and offers a good option as an overlapping player.

All three teenagers have secured their place at Dundee United until May 2016.

Midfielder Darren Petrie, who plays for Brechin City on loan, currently captains the Scotland Under-19s international team and has signed a contract which secures him to the club until May 2015.

Manager Jackie McNamara said: “This is very positive news for the Club and it’s fans. These four lads demonstrate exactly what we are trying to achieve at Dundee United.

“Ryan and John have already made the step up into the first team squad and Euan and Darren have both experienced being with the first team.

“These lads are a part of vibrant set up that we have in place at Dundee United and these contract extensions show our desire to continue to build in the correct manner.”