Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

John Hughes delighted as Caley Thistle duo sign new deals

Ross Draper
Ross Draper

Ross Draper and Ryan Esson last night became the latest pillars of Caley Thistle’s Scottish Cup-winning team to sign new contracts.

Midfielder Draper extends his deal through to summer 2019, while veteran goalkeeper and player-coach Esson has committed until summer 2018. Both would have been out of contract this May.

The double boost came hot on the heels of stalwart defender Gary Warren committing to the club last week.

The latest pair to sign had endured several months of uncertainty as talks continued behind the scenes but manager John Hughes was thrilled to complete the agreements – and is predicting further good news in the next few days.

Hughes said: “Last year when captain Richie Foran fell injured Ross Draper really took up the mantle.

“I still think he can become a better player and he’s got one or two bad habits in his game but he’s great to have in the dressing-room. He’s got leadership qualities and we’re delighted to get him tied up.

“Ryan Esson is also done. Although he finds himself as goalkeeping coach and the number two to Owain Fon Williams, he’s everything that you want.

Ryan Esson
Ryan Esson

“He’s never let us down and always keeps himself fit. It helps us with the budget, too, because he’s doubling up with the coaching and being the number two goalkeeping coach.”

Esson, 35, will be eligible for a testimonial before the close of his new deal, having first signed in 2008, making more than 150 appearances.

The only other Inverness players currently under contract for next season are Josh Meekings, Greg Tansey and Richie Foran but Hughes expects positive developments on that front.

He said: “Over the next few days, there’s another couple close.”

Hughes has prioritised attacking options in his signing targets for January and has drafted in two new trialists this week.

Forward Victor Zapata-Caicedo, most recently with Czech Republic side Banik Ostrava and a former Tottenham, Sunderland and Blackburn Rovers youth, is being put through his paces along with Cambridge United attacking midfielder Liam Hughes.

Zapata-Caicedo is only 21 but Hughes believes he has the potential to boost his striking options. Hughes, 23 – no relation to the manager – is something of a giant at 6ft 4in but more comfortable playing off a main frontman.

Manager Hughes said: “Zapata and Hughes have done well. They’ve really grown into it during the week and we need to now assess if they’ll enhance the squad.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in