JOSH Ashby has signed a long-term professional contract to stay at Oxford United.

The highly-rated midfielder put pen to paper on a three-year deal, which includes the option of a further two years.

Ashby, 17, is the first member of this season's youth team to sign professional terms.

The Oxford-born talent scored in every round of United's run to the FA Youth Cup fourth round this season.

Youth team boss Chris Allen said: “Josh fully deserves his chance. He listens to advice, works hard at his game and has been outstanding for us.

"He really underlined his potential in the FA Youth Cup games against Swansea and Cardiff and he has done well when he has trained with the first team.

"We think he has a very bright future and are pleased that it will be with Oxford United.”

Watch Ashby score two penalties in United's 3-2 Youth Cup defeat to Cardiff City last month: