Briggs delight at new deal

Cottagers youngster thrilled to commit to club

Briggs: Signs long-term deal

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Fulham youngster Matthew Briggs has expressed his delight at signing a new long-term contract at Craven Cottage.

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The promising defender made history in 2007 when he became the Premier League's youngest ever player against Middlesbrough.

Briggs' progress has been hampered in recent seasons due to injury, although he did start in their recent goalless draw with Chelsea.

The 19-year-old, who remembers his Boro bow, enjoys working under current manager Mark Hughes and hopes to continue to impress between now and the summer.

A calf problem has curtailed his availability of late, but he is not ruling out the possibility of being fit and available for Hughes before the end of the season.

Pleased

"I'm really pleased," he told the club's official website. "I've been at Fulham since I was ten years old.

"I was offered the contract last week and we've been doing a medical. It was a case of getting that sorted and then signing on the dotted line.

"I vaguely remember my debut against Middlesbrough to be honest. I remember being told to warm up and getting butterflies in my stomach - I just couldn't wait to get on.

"I thought I was going to be in the squad a bit more the following season after making my debut against Middlesbrough, but it wasn't to be. It's been a bit frustrating with different managers, having to prove myself again and again.

"Since Mark Hughes has arrived I've pushed my foot through the door a little bit. If Mark Hughes likes you as a player and you're performing well in training then he will play you and starting against Chelsea was a great experience for me.

"It was against Arsenal that I got a problem in both calves. The muscles swelled up and there wasn't a lot of room for them to move together, so I had to have an operation to release the pressure in both calves.

"I'm hoping to get back in the match day squad again before the end of the season and get a few games. I've had a few setbacks along the way with injuries but that will make me stronger in the long run."

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