COLCHESTER United have tied promising midfielder Noah Chilvers to a new contract.

The 18-year-old, who made his first-team debut for the U's as a substitute in their 3-0 win over Newport County last March, has penned his first professional deal at the JobServe Community Stadium.

He tweeted: 'Delighted to have signed my first professional contract @ColU_Official Looking forward to next season'.

Fellow academy starlets Callum Jones and Ollie Sims have also signed new deals, while fellow Colchester youth-team player Dean Ager has also been offered a new contract.

The U's have not disclosed the length of the deals.

U's Director of Football Tony Humes told the club's official website: "These lads have shown their talent in the U23s over the past couple of years and certainly have the potential to become first team players.

"Noah has already had a taste of things with the squad and with continued hard work, the others should be joining him in being in and around the first team squad.

"It will be a big pre-season for all of them but we have faith in them and that's why we were happy to offer them new contracts at the club."

Chilvers, who also appeared as a late substitute for the U's in their final game of the season at Lincoln City, was last month linked with both West Ham United and Leicester City who are said to be tracking his progress.

But with his two-year scholarship due to end, he has now signed a professional contract with the League Two club.

Chilvers has been at Colchester since he was eight years old, progressing through their academy ranks at Florence Park.

Speaking to the Gazette following his debut in March, the midfielder revealed he is keen to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Tom Lapslie and Sammie Szmodics in establishing himself as a first-team player with the U's.

“I’ve been working hard and getting my head down since I went full-time and try and improve," said former U's under-18 skipper Chilvers, who can operate in central midfield or as a number ten.

“I’ve been in and around the first team since November time, when the gaffer told me I was going to be in the squad for the FA Cup game against Accrington.

“Since then, I’ve really trained with them most days every week as well as playing for the under-23s.

“I’ve been a bit more confident in training and showing what I can do a bit more, compared to when I first started.

“When you’re younger, you’re looking up to players like Sammie (Szmodics) and Laps (Tom Lapslie) and seeing what they’ve done.

“It’s something you try and replicate and now I’ve made my debut, hopefully I can do similar to how they’ve done.

“Ollie Kensdale has been with the first team week in, week out and made his debut earlier in the season.”