Colchester teenager Alex Gilbey has signed a new two-and-a-half-year contract with the club.
The 19-year-old midfielder has already made 37 first-appearances for the U's and boss Joe Dunne is delighted to tie him down until 2016.
Dunne told the club's official website: "It's great that we have secured Alex's services for the next two and a half years.
"The communication between us as a club and Alex and his representatives has always been open and honest and credit must go to the chairman, Alex and everyone else involved for coming to this wonderful football decision.
"Alex is one of the youngsters who have made great strides over the past couple of years and we will see him get even better in the next couple of seasons."