Midfielder Aaron Morley has signed a new long-term contract with Wanderers to give the Whites further good news heading into the New Year, writes Pete Oliver.
Morley has agreed terms on an extended deal running until June, 2027 to continue his career with Wanderers as a key part of manager Ian Evatt’s squad.
The 23-year-old has been an outstanding acquisition since moving to the Toughsheet Community Stadium from Rochdale in January, 2022.
The creative central midfield player has already made 97 appearances for the Whites – scoring 10 times – and is looking forward to a role in helping Evatt’s side continue to progress and pursue their promotion ambitions.
“The Gaffer always talks about the journey the Club is going on and it’s great to be a part of it. Hopefully I can help the Club get back to where it belongs,” said Morley.
“This is where I want to be at this time of my career and, hopefully, we can push on together.
“The Club is still too low for what kind of club it is. We always want to get back into the Championship and potentially the Premier League. That's always a dream for me, so hopefully we can do that together.”
Morley had 18 months to run on his existing deal but has been rewarded for his impact so far – and the prospect of things to come – as Wanderers secure the future of another of their top young players.
“We're pleased with his development and how he’s progressed in his time here,” said Evatt, who also saw midfield partner George Thomason, 22, sign an extended deal with the Whites earlier this season.
“He can do multi-functional things in the centre of midfield and play as an ‘eight’ or a ‘six’. Technically he's great and his out-of-possession play is improving all the time. He is an important part of what we're doing.
“He’s played a lot of games but he’s still a young player and I think there’s huge amount of development still to come with him. We have to protect and look after our assets, and we see him as one of those assets.”
Morley helped Wanderers reach the League One play-offs and win the Papa Johns Trophy in his first full season with the Whites in 2022/23.
He has remained an integral part of Wanderers’ competitive midfield department, with an outstanding performance at Lincoln City on Boxing Day helping to secure the win that sends the Whites into their final game of 2023 at Fleetwood Town on Friday night outside the automatic promotion places only on goal difference.
“I think my performances on the pitch show I’ve been working hard on the training ground and on my game. The Gaffer has rewarded that and I can't thank him enough,” Morley added.
“He and all his staff have been amazing with me helping me to learn every day. I feel I am improving every day and hopefully it keeps going like that.
“The players are 100 per cent in it together and if someone else is starting we back them to play well and then when it's our chance, hopefully we take it. It’s great competition and better than knowing that you’re playing every time come what may. It's healthy.
“I think we’ve had a good first half of this season and hopefully we can carry that on into January and beyond. It's a big period, the Christmas period, and I think we've done well with the games we've had. Hopefully we can continue that to keep pushing up the league.”