New deal for Featherstone

Nicky Featherstone: Pens Saddlers extension

Versatile midfielder Nicky Featherstone has penned a new one-year contract at Walsall.

Featherstone, who rose through the ranks at npower Championship side Hull, arrived on free transfer from Hereford last summer following the Bulls' relegation from the Football League, signing a 12-month deal at the Banks's Stadium.

Featherstone has proved his worth to the promotion-chasing Saddlers this term, making a total of 31 appearances, 27 of which have been starts.

And with the 24-year-old's contract due to expire at the end of this season boss Dean Smith has moved to secure his services on an improved deal for the 2013/14 campaign.

Featherstone said: "I am delighted that everything is sorted. It's important that we keep the nucleus of this team together and I am excited by what the future holds in store.

"I thoroughly enjoy working with the gaffer; he is very consistent in what he does and I am able to be myself under him. My game has certainly developed under his influence and now I want to play my part in a positive end to the season."

Smith added: "Nicky has performed really well for us this season. He has showed what ability he has and I am delighted that he has agreed to sign this new deal.

"He has a great attitude; he wants to get better and has a real hunger for the game. I am pleased with the progress he is making here and this is another piece of the jigsaw in place."