JOSH Ruffels has signed a new contract which could keep him at Oxford United until 2018.

The 20-year-old was due to become a free agent this summer, but he has now put pen to paper on a two-year deal, with the U’s retaining an option on a further two seasons.

U's head coach Gary Waddock said: "I am a firm believer in giving good young players a chance and I think the fans really get behind them, particularly if they are local lads.

"Josh has played every game for me so far and done really well this season.

"He works hard at his game and has a very bright future ahead.

"I am delighted that his future will be at Oxford United.”

Ruffels, from Kidlington, has been the biggest success story from the inaugural season of Oxford United’s development squad.

The midfielder has been a regular since November, making 31 appearances so far this season and has started the last seven games.

Ruffels played in United’s youth set-up before joining Coventry City at under eight level.

He came all the way through the Sky Blues academy, making two first-team appearances, but was released last summer, leading to a trial back at United.