HOMEGROWN Town keeper Phil Senior signed a two-year extension to his McAlpine contract today.
The 21-year-old has impressed while deputising for the injured Ian Gray in the last nine matches and manager Peter Jackson has stepped in to keep Senior tied to the club until 2006.
Senior is already responding to treatment for the dead-leg injury he suffered in Saturday's win at Cambridge and he is fully expected to keep his place against Boston at the McAlpine this weekend, when Town are looking for a fifth straight win to strengthen their improving promotion credentials.
"Everyone knows how highly I rate Ian Gray, but Phil has come into the team and has done extremely well for me," said the manager, who will play trialist Paul Evans in the Reserves at Bradford tonight (7.00).
"Phil is Huddersfield through and through and even when he isn't in the first team, his attitude is absolutely first class.
"He is fantastic around the club, he trains really hard every day and he is an excellent pro who deserves a contract extension to help him develop his career.
"At 21 he has got a lot of good years ahead of him and this new deal means we've got two quality keepers on the books for the next couple of years."
Senior made 16 starts and two substitute appearances last season when stepping in to deputise for Scott Bevan, and he was on the bench for 21 League and Cup matches this term before getting his chance when Gray broke a hand against Accrington in the FA Cup.
"People are always talking about Phil's height, but I can think of only one game where he has possibly let himself down, at Mansfield when we drew 3-3, and the rest of the time he's been excellent," added Jackson, who insists there have still been no offers for Jon Stead despite rumours linking Southampton to possible interest.
"Phil is playing behind a young team in any case, but he organises his defence well - and they are playing well as a unit - and he keeps the ball out of the net, which is what it's all about.
"You only have to look at what he did for us against Doncaster the other week. He had hardly been in the game, but he came up with one of the saves of the season to save a header from Morley which would have put Doncaster back on level terms. Instead, we were able to go up the field and clinch the win with another goal, and that's exactly what you want from your keeper.
"It is always a worry for players when they know their contracts are up, so I'm sure Phil is delighted he can now concentrate on keeping his fine form going."