Dundee United have rewarded central defender Mark Connolly with a new deal that keeps him at the club until the summer of 2023.
The 28-year-old Irishman has become one of the leaders at Tannadice since joining the Tangerines from Crawley Town on his original two-and-a-half-year contract in January 2019.
Connolly was at the heart of last season’s successful promotion campaign and has played all three Premiership matches under new gaffer Micky Mellon.
The United boss recently signed giant centre-back Ryan Edwards from Blackpool but has brought him in to work alongside Connolly rather than replace him.
Indeed, Mellon sees Connolly as an integral part of the club’s future.
The player said: “I’m absolutely delighted.
“Delighted for myself and my family to know that I’m going to be here for another few years.
“I’m also delighted that the club is showing (it is) backing me in what I’ve done both on and off the field.
“I’ve loved it since the first day I moved here.
“It’s a huge club with fantastic people working at it and also the people I’ve met in the city have now become friends.
“So, it was an easy to decision to stay here, the club is moving forward and I want to be a part of that.”
United sporting director Tony Asghar added: “We are delighted that Mark has committed to Dundee United with this contract extension
“Mark, along with other senior members of our playing squad, has led the way we wanted to change the culture of our club with a team-first mentality and work ethic.
“His playing style and leadership have been excellent, not just in our promotion season, but also in our early Premiership games under Micky.
“Mark has also engaged with the fans and the community and his mentorship to our young players is key to how we, as a club, want to flourish. At 28 he is at a great age to be a pivotal player for Dundee United in the next few years.”