DARLINGTON defender Jake Lawlor has become the latest player to put pen-to-paper on a new contract and commit his future to the club.

The centre-half has signed a new two year contract which will keep him at the Quakers until the summer of 2024.

Lawlor initially signed on a loan deal from Hartlepool United back but following the mutual termination of his deal at the Suit Direct Stadium, the deal was made permanent in January until the end of the season.

Powerful in the air with plenty of experience playing for the likes of Wrexham and Harrogate Town, manager Alun Armstrong has been keen to tie him down as he continues to form a formidable partnership with former Boro defender David Wheater.

“Over the moon with it” said the Quakers boss. “Since Jake’s been here, he’s just got better and better.

“I think he was just starting to get going and then when he got the recall from Hartlepool, it took him a while to get going again. But I think you’ve seen the partnership between him and David Wheater is flourishing.

“The kid has got to know the group a lot more and I think he is coming out of his shell a lot more. He’s really enjoying it here and that’s a big thing. I’m delighted that we’ve signed him on a two-year deal.”

The 31-year-old has kept eight clean sheets in 24 appearances whilst also finding the net on two occasions. During his half season at the club, he already believes that the club can make a strong push for promotion next season.

Lawlor said: “I wouldn’t be signing here if I didn’t think we were good enough and the players were capable enough of getting out of this league. That’s definitely the aim for me and the club.

“We’ve got some great players here and hopefully with the addition of a couple more and holding onto some of those players from this season, we’ll be a good challenge for next year.”

Lawlor follows in the footsteps of Wheater, Tommy Taylor and Ben Hedley in signing new deals for the club and the club is expected to announce more extensions in the coming weeks.