Brighton & Hove Albion defender Ben White was thrilled to put pen to paper on a new deal with the club, which will keep him with the Seagulls until at least 2021.
The 20-year-old central defender is a product of the Albion academy set-up, and feels his exploits away from the Amex Stadium this season were a big factor in him earning a new contract.
He said, “I’m delighted because it’s been a good season for me on loan at Newport County and I feel as though I’ve been rewarded for that.
“The deal here means the club have put faith and trust in me – it’s really big for myself and my family.
“I was released from Southampton when I was 16 and this club gave me a scholarship and took me all the way until now, so I’m very grateful for that.”
White has impressed with his performances on loan at the Exiles this season, and discussed some of the aspects of his game which he feels have improved during his time in south Wales.
“It’s been amazing for me, I’ve got some competitive games under my belt every week and I’ve been playing against all kinds of opposition in front of crowds – it’s been invaluable.
“It was my first senior loan spell and I was bit anxious at first – but they’re a great group of lads to play alongside. It’s taught me to believe in myself and have confidence in my ability as a footballer.
“It’s a physical division and the biggest challenge is adjusting from academy level.
“I’d say the aerial challenges in the league took me time to adapt to, the ball spends a lot of time in the air during games and there are a lot of physical forwards.”
The Rodney Parade side have enjoyed a successful campaign on the whole, but their highlight has undoubtedly been the Emirates FA Cup run, which culminated in a fourth round replay against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium.
“The cup run was amazing, what we achieved and the manner in which we secured the game with Tottenham Hotspur was brilliant.
“Then we nearly beat them in the home tie, but to then play at Wembley Stadium was a dream come true.
“Facing Harry Kane was great for me and I feel like I more than held my own against him.
“His movement was very clever and he always made sure he got himself in-between me and the ball all the time as well, and he was very sharp.
“As soon as the draw was made I got a lot of messages from everyone – but it was a challenge I took in my stride because of the way I’d proved myself before during the campaign – I’m confident against everyone I come up against.”