Terry Brown has made his first signings as Basingstoke Town manager as he looks to mount a promotion push next season.
Academy products George Hallahan, Aaron Jarvis and George Bennett have each signed contracts to remain at the Ark Cancer Charity Stadium.
All three youngsters impressed after being given a chance by the Dragons boss in the final weeks of the season following the club’s relegation to the Southern League Premier Division.
The signings follow the decision to go full time and focus on building a team around young players as Basingstoke look to bounce straight back up to the National League South at the first attempt.
Town boss Brown was quick to congratulate academy manager Jason Bristow for his role in uncovering the trio and making them ready for first-team football.
Brown said: “I was amazed with the quality of the boys at the academy because the vast majority of non-league academies work on a numbers basis, rather than quality over quantity.
“To get three to go straight into the first team in one year is really phenomenal, which is testimony to Jason.
“They literally came in at the end of the season and made us a better team and looked more than comfortable.”
Midfielder George Bennett grabbed his first goal for the club in the final day win at Chelmsford City, while teenage striker Aaron Jarvis also caught the eye on his debut in the 2-0 win over Truro City.
And Brown predicted bright futures for both of the youngsters, while confirming that both would play leading roles next season.
He said: “People told me that George was a holding midfielder when I arrived at the club, but as he showed last season, he can be any type of midfielder he wants to be.
“Nothing seemed to faze him and he always seemed to have time on the ball, which is a sign of a good player.
“Aaron was a bit of a bonus for me.
“He has a little bit of devil in him in that he won’t get pushed off the ball and adds a bit of legs and energy up front.”
Hallahan will be a bit more well known to Dragons fans after impressing following former manager Bristow’s decision to give him a run in the side last pre-season.
Following the news, the forward posted on Twitter: “Happy to have signed. Looking forward to the times ahead.”
Brown added: “George is a little bit ahead of the others, but needs to be playing regularly.
“He has that versatility to play in a number of positions, which I want my players to be able to do.
“He’s got a good future ahead of him, for sure.”