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19 September 2013

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Highly-rated forward agrees professional forms

Hatters youth team striker Zane Banton has been handed a professional contract.

The 17-year-old has signed a deal until May 2015 after impressing manager John Still in a number of behind-closed-doors development games this season.

Banton has scored two goals in three starts for the Under-18s so far this season and scored twice in a 3-1 win for the development squad over Stevenage last month.

Previously on the books at Watford, Banton scored 16 goals in his first year as a scholar as the Town youth team finished third in the Youth Alliance last season.

“Since I came to the club I’ve kept an eye on our young players’ development and Zane certainly impressed me during pre-season,” Still told

“He’s gone from strength-to-strength since the season has begun in development games and for the youth team.

“He’s the one who has put himself in the position to earn a professional contract. He’s shown great progress and has got great potential. He’s worked hard, has got bags of enthusiasm and scores goals.

“Working alongside the senior professionals will help him develop even further.

“Zane, though, is not alone. Charlie Smith and Arel Amu have also impressed me and I will continue to monitor their progress with the help of my staff and youth team manager Paul Driver.”

In his first interview, Banton told "If you had told me two months ago I would be signing a professional contract I would have laughed at you.

"It's amazing to sign my first contract but this is just the beginning. The hardest thing in football is to earn your second contract and I intend to keep working hard to be able to achieve that aim."

Zane has been issued with squad number 34.

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