Ross County manager Stuart Kettlewell feels rewarding Josh Reid with an improved contract is a mark of the teenager’s progression in the Staggies’ first team.
Reid has enjoyed a breakthrough with his hometown side this season, with the 18-year-old making 13 appearances so far this term.
The left back’s form earned him a call up to the Scotland under-19s squad last month, with English League One side Portsmouth having shown interest in Reid during the summer.
Reid has now triggered improved terms, although the Dingwall club have not specified the length of his deal.
Kettlewell hopes Reid can continue his development in the weeks to come, and he said: “On the basis of his performances and hitting certain milestones, he has been rewarded with an improved contract.
“We’re looking to try to increment players’ contracts. Josh hadn’t kicked a ball for the first team before his contract in the summer.
Brilliant feeling having our supporters back last night 👏 hopefully see yous all back in soon ⚽️🔵 https://t.co/3vJS7XA5v8
— Josh Reid (@Joshreid01) November 7, 2020
“We put some simple milestones in his contract where he would progress to a better contract if he hit those. It is just my simple belief on how the game should be.
“Fortunately, he got there in the first 14 games and I think he has shown he can play at this level. For me, it is a good start for him, but we’re definitely looking for him to kick on and see if he can accelerate his progression.
“He’s only 18 and he’s dealt with some really good opponents in that period of time. It sets him in good stead.
“He has a brilliant pro behind him in Carl Tremarco who I watch every day speaking to him and helping him along the way.
“There’s a lot of positives to take for Josh. We just need to keep him grounded and playing at the level he is playing at – and better.”
County face League Two side Elgin City in a Betfred Cup Group D fixture at Borough Briggs tonight.
During his playing career, Kettlewell was part of a Queen’s Park side which famously knocked Aberdeen out of the League Cup on penalties, in a tie which was played at Firhill due to a Rolling Stones concert at Hampden Park.
Kettlewell insists his own experience gives him an insight into how Elgin’s players will approach tonight’s tie, adding: “It is still one of the most talked about cup performances. I just know how I felt playing in that game.
“I saw a group of guys who had been relaxing at a hotel all day and had their feet up while I was working. I had a real determination to turn them over.
“This is probably where I get my soapbox out and start talking about having been on the other side of those occasions.
“These guys will be working shifts on the day of the game. We have the benefit of sitting, relaxing and making sure we’re well-prepared for the game.
“I believe you have to make that count because I remember, during my working day, I was sitting thinking about the Aberdeen player I’d be against and how I was going to try to run over the top of him.
“I’m fairly sure plenty of Elgin players will feel the same.”
Kettlewell is expecting a competitive test from an Elgin side which includes former Staggies youngsters Russell Dingwall and Joel MacBeath.
He added: “There’s a few players in there I know pretty well from being in and around the Highlands over a period of time and a couple of younger lads who have come through our system here.
“Some of these guys will have a point to prove. I know young Russell Dingwall, who was my captain coming through the development squad here, will be one.
“I watched him on Saturday and his application and attitude in the game was absolutely first class.
“I know he will be hell bent on getting the better of his opponent and he is the type of lad who drives on others.”