Williams pens new Pool deal

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ANTHONY WILLIAMS has signed an extended contract with Hartlepool United, keeping him at Victoria Road until the 2003/04 season.

Pool boss Chris Turner was delighted to tie the former Wales Under-21 keeper to a longer deal, telling the club's official website: "Anthony Williams is an exceptional goalkeeper. He is one of the best in this Division.

"I think it is vital that we get the nucleus of our team signed up before the start of the summer. I think it is important you start from the back and get your goalkeeper established."

The former Blackburn Rovers custodian, 24, was glad to sort out his future and said he was happy with life at Victoria Road.

"There is not long left in the season, my contract was up, so it is nice to get something down on paper before you leave for the summer so you are right for next season," he said.

"I am happy playing here, we have a good set of lads and hopefully we can push to go up the divisions."