NEWS | Academy defender Aaron Barnes pens contract extension

Olly Groome reports

Academy defender Aaron Barnes has signed a contract extension that commits him to the club until the summer of 2018. 

The 20-year-old has played a vital part towards the success of both the club's U18 and development squad sides in recent seasons and has captained Jason Euell's U23s on a number of occasions this term. 

"I’m delighted to get it over the line and I’m looking forward to continuing the hard work," said Barnes. 

"It’s been a good season for me, personally, being in and around the first team and it’s now just about getting my head down and focusing on trying to get into the reckoning. 

"Every year I’ve been here, I’ve won something and it’s been a great experience being part of this academy so I want to continue pushing on. 

"The pathway is there and I can look at my mates – people like Ezri Konsa and Joe Gomez - that have gone before to play for the first team. It just shows that the opportunity is there and it’s a great club for that and I’m happy to have the chance to continue my education and, hopefully, follow in their footsteps."

Barnes enjoyed an ever-present 2014/15 campaign for the U18s as the all-conquering youngsters sealed a title double and was also part of the side for the 2015 Kent Senior Cup final victory over Gillingham, before plaing 33 times for the U21s last season as they claimed the Professional Development League 2 - South crown. 

The 20-year old was named in a first-team squad for the first time in October when he took his place on the bench for the Checkatrade Trophy clash with Crawley Town at The Valley and was amongst the substitutes for the League One trip to Shrewsbury Town last month. 

He becomes the Addicks' second youngster to recently commit his future to the club after Ezri Konsa penned a new three-year deal last week. 

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