OXFORD United’s youth team coach believes Kyran Lofthouse will not be the last player from the latest crop to be offered professional terms early.

The winger this week agreed a contract which runs until the end of next season.

It came just over a month after striker Slavi Spasov, 16, committed himself to the club.

And Leon Blackmore-Such, who coaches the youth team, is confident Lofthouse will not be the last of his players to receive an offer.

He said: “The club has been good in recognising the boys that have potential and I honestly think there are more in there with the group we’ve got.

“There have been some really promising performances both in our group and the under 23s.

“It’s just about consistently doing that, so they can be the next one.

“We’re hoping there will be more there and we can bridge that gap into the first team.”

United have been going on the offensive when it comes to scouting and promoting youth players since Dan Harris took over the academy in January.

Part of the proactive approach has been to offer professional contracts early, rather than at the end of the two-year scholarship.

It is designed to help keep interested clubs at bay, while showing young players they will get their rewards for performing well.

Head coach Karl Robinson has bought into the plan, handing Spasov, Fabio Lopes and Aaron Heap first-team debuts this season.

Lofthouse’s deal came on the back of a big improvement between his first and second years.

The teenager serves as a great example for what can be achieved.

Blackmore-Such said: “Kyran will be a role model and is someone I would use with boys coming through.

“There will be lots of different personalities, but seeing how much Kyran has evolved we hope he can inspire others to do that.

“If you get people ready on and off the pitch it gives them a great opportunity to hopefully have a career.”