Two of Wanderers’ leading young players – Luke Matheson and Conor Carty – have signed new, extended contracts to stay with the Whites.
The pair – who both started their Wanderers’ careers as part of the B Team squad – have been rewarded for their progress with deals running until June 2025.
Matheson linked up with the B Team last summer after leaving Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers and signed an initial 12-month deal following a successful trial spell.
The 21-year-old right-sided defender or wing-back, who started his career at Rochdale, has subsequently graduated to the Whites’ first-team squad and made four senior appearances - scoring once - for Wanderers in cup competitions so far this season.
Carty, meanwhile, joined Wanderers’ B Team squad in June, 2022 - also after leaving Wolves where he came through the Academy set-up to play U23 football at Molineux.
The striker scored a number of times for the Whites' B Team in his early games – as well as netting an important goal on his first-team debut for Wanderers in the EFL Trophy at Tranmere Rovers in September, 2022.
Carty then had loan spells in the National League with Oldham Athletic and Gateshead before a highly successful season-long loan stay in his native Ireland this year with St Patrick’s Athletic.
The 21-year-old helped the Dublin-based club finish third in the League of Ireland to qualify for Europe and win the FAI Cup last month in front of a record crowd of over 43,000 in the final against Bohemians.
Carty – who has also been capped by the Republic of Ireland at U21 level – has since returned to Wanderers, although is not eligible to play anywhere until January.
In the meantime, the forward (above) continues to train alongside Matheson and the senior squad, with manager Ian Evatt happy to reward the duo with new deals as a reflection of the pathway being forged from B Team to first-team football.
Evatt said: “They have both impressed since joining the club. Conor went out and had a very successful loan in Ireland. Luke has been involved with us and always impressed when he's played, so it's great that we can tie them down to longer contracts and look to the future and for them to progress even more.
“This is where we want to get to with the B Team. We want to start developing players that are ready for our first team and those two are the closest really.
“We will probably look to get another loan for Conor to help him keeping improving and increasing his education, probably at a higher level. With Luke, we'll make a decision on that when we get to January, but I'm pleased for them both and it's well deserved.”
The progress of Carty and Matheson underlines the value of the B Team set-up at Wanderers, with young players being given the opportunity to develop ahead of a taste of first-team football, with half-a-dozen more of the squad currently out on loan playing competitive, senior football.