READING FC starlet Sam Smith has today put pen to paper on a fresh three-and-a-half year deal at Madejski Stadium.

The young centre forward becomes the second academy product to agree new terms this week and follows the footsteps of Tennai Watson.

Smith, who was on loan at Bishop's Stortford a little over a year ago, broke into Jaap Stam's first team plans this season.

The former Manchester United academy product has started several league and cup games and claimed his first professional goal in the Carabao Cup against tomorrow (Saturday's) opponents Millwall.

Stam said: "I remember, at the start of the season, speaking with Sam about his future and how he wanted to progress. We took him with us to Holland and he made a good impression, so we wanted to work with him in the first team squad and see how he progressed throughout the course of the season.

"Since then he has come off the bench in both cup competitions, started a couple of league games for the first team and scored his first professional goal - and there is no doubt that Sam is a promising player who, in signing this new deal, can hopefully continue to make good progress and do well for Reading Football Club in the future."

The 19-year-old is the latest of a string of players to emerge in Royals' first-team having learned under club legend Eamonn Dolan.

He has been backed by veteran forward Yann Kermorgant to have a big future at Madejski Stadium.

Ron Gourlay said: "In the opportunities which have been presented to him to date, Sam has certainly demonstrated his ability to lead the line at this level and – at still only 19 years of age – he has the potential to grow into a very good striker. So I am very pleased to have secured the services of another of our talented Academy crop on a long-term contract at Reading.”