Caines remains a Robin
By Tom Adams
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Cheltenham Town have signed youngster Gavin Caines to a long-term contract.Cheltenham Town have tied young defender Gavin Caines down to a long term contract after the former Walsall player impressed manager John Ward.
The 21-year-old joined The Robins in the summer and has been rewarded for his sparkling form with a new two-and-a-half year deal.
Since arriving at Whaddon Road the stopper has forced himself into first team contention earlier than expected, and has made 14 League Two appearances so far this term.
Ward gave a ringing endorsement of his qualities as a player and person as he expressed obvious delight at capturing the youngster's signature until 2007.
"This is actually the third contract Gavin has signed since he's been here," Ward told the club's official website.
"He signed a two-month contract initially, he impressed me enough to extend it to the end of the season and now obviously he has impressed me and other people at the club enough to earn an even longer contract.
"I'm really pleased because he's a young player and at the moment you'd think there is a nice future for him in professional football.
"He's going to start that off with us, which I'm very happy about, and he's not one that I really need to introduce.
"He's got pace, he's a brave boy, he's got a tremendous amount to learn but he's got an appetite for that and he fits in with our club as both a player and a person.
"I've been chatting to Gavin for some time and there was always the indication that he wanted to stay here because he appreciates the opportunity he's been given.
"It's tough for a young player when they get released by a club and have to re-start their career elsewhere, but Gavin has found his feet with us after leaving Walsall."
Caines declared himself pleased to have committed his future to the play-off chasing side, and revealed that he was keen to develop as a player under Ward's tutelage.
"I'm really happy to have signed and now that everything's done I want to get on with my football and help the team do well," Caines told the club's official website.
"All the lads have been great here and helped me to settle in. It's a nice place and we have a good team who are on the up.
"We are a young side so we can only go onwards and upwards. I think that playing in the team has helped me to improve but I've still got a lot to learn and hopefully there is more to come."