Pool keep hold of defender

Holloway moves to tie down Eastham

Ashley Eastham: Blackpool taken up option on his contract

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Sky Sports understands Blackpool have exercised their contract option on highly-rated young defender Ashley Eastham to fend off interest from other clubs.

Eastham's previous deal was due to expire this summer, but Blackpool have moved to take up the option to extend his contract by a further year to keep him at Bloomfield Road until 2013.

Ian Holloway is thought to be a big admirer of Eastham with the Tangerines chief happy with his development out on loan at Bury this season.

Eastham spent most of the season with the Shakers where he established himself as a first-team regular with a number of impressive performances that caught the attention of newly promoted Charlton, Sheffield United and MK Dons.

Under the guidance of manager Richie Barker, Bury secured a comfortable mid-table finish in League One and saw Eastham emerge as a key player for the Shakers.

Standing at 6ft 3in, the powerful defender is acknowledged as an excellent prospect within footballing circles and a number of clubs will continue to monitor Holloway's future plans for the young centre-half, who had already caught the eye in League Two with promotion chasers Cheltenham before joining the Shakers.