Caley Thistle midfielder Ryan Christie believes manager John Hughes is the right man to help him maximise his potential after he committed his future to the club yesterday.
The 19-year-old, son of former player and manager Charlie, has scored three goals in 17 appearances in what has been his breakthrough campaign at the club.
His new two-year deal will keep him at Inverness until May 2016 although the Highlanders have an option to extend his services for a further year.
Christie is delighted to have secured his future and now aims to establish himself in Hughes’s first team.
He said: “I’ve really enjoyed the past six months. The senior players have been a great encouragement to me since I got my chance.
“It’s nice to go off on holiday with the new contract signed and sealed. I’m grateful to John Hughes for having faith in me and it’s nice to reward him with the couple of goals in the closing matches.
“I really like the style of football we are playing and it sits well with the way we have been brought up keeping the ball down and playing football.”
Christie, who scored in the club’s final two home games against Scottish Cup finalists Dundee United and St Johnstone, made his first-team debut against Celtic last December, soon after Hughes became the new manager at Caledonian Stadium.
Hughes has been hugely impressed by the teenager’s form since he succeeded Terry Butcher as manager and hopes to see more members of the club’s youth system push their claims for inclusion in the first team.
The Caley Thistle manager said: “I’m delighted Ryan is staying to build on the rapid progress he has made here in the past six months.
“I liked the look of him in the early training sessions and, when given his opportunity, the lad took full advantage. He finished the season on a high and as a local lad who has come through the club’s youth development system, it’s good to have him in my plans for the future.
“My assistant, Russell Latapy, and I have been studying the youth system as we feel that recruiting from our own ranks can be a key way forward for the club.”