CENTRE-HALF prospect Jake Cooper has signed a new contract that keeps him at Rotherham United until the summer of 2022.
The 19-year-old, who has made three EFL Trophy appearances for the League One Millers, has impressed on loan at National League Gateshead FC and is highly regarded by Rotherham boss Paul Warne and his staff.
Warne was keen for his young defender to gain more experience of men's football and is delighted to see Cooper developing so well in the North East.
"In the nicest possible way, he needs to get bashed about a bit," the boss said.
Cooper becomes the third promising product of the Millers' youth set-up to be given a deal this season, after strikers Josh Kayode and Jacob Gratton.
Kayode is on loan at League Two Carlisle United while Gratton is on the comeback trail after cruciate knee ligament surgery.
Cooper said: "Coming into this season with only a one-year deal, I had a point to prove in order to earn a fresh one and I've managed to do that which is brilliant.
"I came back strong for pre-season so the gaffer and his staff gave me a chance in cup games which I appreciated, but it was good to get out on loan and get some more games under my belt.
"I'm really enjoying my time up at Gateshead and it's been a learning curve for me, having to adapt to men's football. I'm still only young with a lot to learn.
"It's great to know that the staff at Rotherham trust me. While I've been away I've been in regular contact with (coach) Matt Hamshaw. The manager will occasionally message me too, which is always nice."