RONAN Darcy says he is “over the moon” after signing his first professional deal with Wanderers.

As reported by The Bolton News earlier this month, the highly rated youngster has ended speculation by putting pen to paper on a two-year contract – and will now play a major part in the club’s rebuild in League Two.

Ormskirk-born Darcy graduated through the academy system after first joining as an eight-year-old and made his debut on the last day of the 2018/19 season.

He played a bigger part last season, making 22 appearances and scoring two goals, attracting the attention of several clubs including SPL giants Rangers.

The youngster is now keen to spearhead Wanderers’ efforts to bounce back next season.

“I’ve always dreamed about playing first team football for this great football club,” he said. “I’m over the moon to be extending my stay and cannot wait to get back out on the field and play when it’s safe to do so.”

Darcy becomes the 11th player with senior experience who is contracted for next season at the UniBol and follows Matt Alexander, Sonny Graham, Callum King-Harmes and Adam Senior in penning a new contract this summer.

“We’re delighted Ronan has signed his first professional contract with the club,” said head of football operations, Tobias Phoenix, “and very much look forward to him playing a big part in the rebuild.”

Wanderers are still on the lookout for a manager who will lead them into next season but have now got a basic framework of younger players – most homegrown – signed on for 2020/21.

Sharon Brittan is excited at the prospect of seeing academy graduates like Darcy playing a bigger role with the Whites.

“I’m absolutely thrilled that Ronan has signed a new deal with the club,” she said. “He’s a talented player who excites us all whenever he has got the ball.

“Having been at the club for 11 years and coming through the youth system, he most certainly is ‘one of our own!’”