YOUNG midfielder Josh Windass has signed a new two-year contract with Accrington Stanley.

The 20-year-old joined the Reds last summer after impressing manager James Beattie on trial in pre-season.

He made his debut in November’s FA Cup first round defeat to Tranmere Rovers in November and his full debut in a 3-2 win at Mansfield more than a month later.

But it was at the end of the season, when Stanley won their battle against the drop, that Windass came to the fore with eye-catching performances over Oxford and AFC Wimbledon.

Windass, a former Huddersfield Town trainee, has now been rewarded with a deal to keep him at the Store First Stadium until the summer of 2016.

“It’s been the easiest decision I’ve ever had to make,” he explained. “I played at the end of last season and obviously I want to play as many games as I can now next year and hopefully have a good season,” he said.

“I learnt loads from my first season here. I didn’t play much at the start of the season and was watching on thinking that I could do it but when you play yourself you realise what a hard league it is.

“Hopefully I did myself justice when I played and I can build on that in the new season and do well.”

Manager James Beattie has backed Windass to kick on next season.

“Josh is a very good young player,” he said. “I think he’d been out of football for a little bit and got to know the ins and outs of what’s going to be required of him. I think there’s a tremendous player in there and over the next couple of years hopefully we can get that player out.

“He’s got all the tools to be a top player; his range of passing, his touch, he’s very athletic and very powerful. He just needs to learn about the game a little bit more but that will come with experience and games and hopefully we can get him them this season.

“He’s another tremendous character and a really good lad. He wants to learn and he wants to listen and he’s got a lot of people around him who are guiding him in the right direction.”