A promising young defender has made history at Melton Town as the first player to be offered a full Football Association contract.
The move means Town have secured the services of full-back Charlie Sheridan until April 2019.
The 19-year-old joined Town’s first team after impressing in a friendly game for Mansfield Town XI against Melton last summer.
Sheridan, from Sutton-in-Ashfield, still plays for Mansfield Town’s under 21s development team while studying sports science at Brooksby Melton College.
Melton manager Shane Jarram moved quickly to secure his signature after he attracted the attention of several higher league clubs.
The club has also agreed to a release clause allowing the player to move on if an offer was made benefitting both the player’s progression and Town’s stability.
Jarram said: “It is really exciting for us as a club to be able to offer this opportunity to players to commit them to the club long term.
“Charlie is an excellent player and his form has been noticed by a few clubs.
“I was desperate not to lose him, so I approached him and his father Paul several weeks ago to look into the possibility. I was delighted when they agreed.”
And the Town manager, who is in his first season at Digital Deadline Park, is keen to extend the offer to other members of the squad.
“We will be looking at hopefully talking to other players at the club over the coming weeks to see if we can do the same for them if it fits right for both parties,” he added.
* Town’s progress was disrupted by the weather once more last weekend as persistent rain overnight and during Saturday left their pitch waterlogged, forcing the postponement of their home match against long Buckby.
They have played just three matches so far this year, and will hope the rain stays away ahead of Saturday’s home match with struggling Bugbrooke.
Their opponents sit 18th in Division One of the United Counties League, three places below Melton. Kick-off is 3pm.