STAN TERNENT today settled two-year terms with midfielder James Berrett and said: “It’s great to get all my retained players sorted out so soon.”
Signing up the highly-rated teenage midfielder until 2010 means the core of the new manager’s squad is in place just a week after he identified the out-of-contract players he wanted to keep.
Having agreed a 12-month contract with veteran striker Andy Booth on his first day at work, Ternent then sorted out the futures of 18-year-old left-back Joe Skarz (three years) and keeper Matt Glennon (two).
On 19-year-old Berrett, who is in Malaysia with the Republic of Ireland Under 21s, he said: “James has made excellent progress in the last four months and it’s now up to him to ensure that continues.”
Speaking from the Far East, Berrett, whose Town teammate Michael Collins is also in the Irish party, said: “I’m really pleased to have agreed the deal and be able to concentrate on what’s happening out here.
“We’re all optimistic about the future, and like the manager says, it’s down to me to ensure I maintain the progress I’ve made in the second half of the season.
Berrett, from Golcar, made his 12th Town start in the final-day League I win at Luton, and there have also been five substitute outings to go with the two he made from the bench in 2006-07.
Over in Malaysia, the Republic will face Iraq (Thursday), the hosts (Saturday) and Nigeria (Monday) in the group stages of the Intercontinental Cup.
The other section comprises Croatia, Argentina, Ghana and Australia, with the top two in each progressing to the semis.
Republic coach Don Givens said: “The other teams involved are all Under 23, so we will have the youngest squad there.”
Squad: Goalkeepers: Darren Randolph (Charlton), Shane Redmond (Nottm Forest). Defenders: Darren Dennehy (Everton), Eddie Nolan (Blackburn), Michael Spillane (Norwich), Shane Lowry (Aston Villa), Ian Morris (Scunthorpe), Marc Wilson (Portsmouth). Midfielders: Collins, Stephen Quinn (Sheffield United), Alan Power (Nottm Forest), Keith Keane (Luton), Stephen Maher (Yeovil), Berrett. Forwards: Anthony Stokes (Sunderland), Billy Clarke (Ipswich), Karl Moore (Manchester City), Alan Judge (Blackburn), Keith Treacy (Blackburn).