Fleetwood Town defender Ashley Eastham has signed a new contract that will keep him at Highbury until the summer of 2021.
Eastham’s contract was set to expire at the end of the season but he has now penned a two-year extension
The 27-year-old signed from Rochdale in 2016 and has become one of the first names on the teamsheet under Uwe Rosler, John Sheridan and now Joey Barton.
The centre-half won the player of the year prize for his displays in 2017-18 and heads to Plymouth with 116 appearances in all competitions under his belt for the club.
And vice-captain Eastham, who has taken on the captain’s armband in the absence of skipper Craig Morgan for Town’s last two games, wants to continue to be a leader at this club.
He said: “I’ve been in talks with the club for the last couple of weeks now. I’m really happy to get it done and dusted and look forward to what we’re creating here.
“I want to be a leader for this team. I want to help everyone thrive as a group and really make a success of what we’ve got at this club.
“There’s ambition coming from the chairman. We’ve got an extremely ambitious manager, who drives hard every day on the training ground.”
And boss Barton is pleased to reward Eastham with a fresh deal as he says it is important to have key players like the centre-half tied down.
He said: “We are trying to build a culture at this football club around a strong playing squad, so to tie down one of our key players is massive for us.
“Ash’s performances on the pitch and conduct off it have been superb since I’ve been at the club, and I’m pleased that we can reward him with a new contract.
“He is part of our leadership group within the dressing room and I know that his teammates, staff and supporters will be delighted with this news.”