Former Wetherby Bulldogs prodigy Alex Foster admitted his surprise at signing an improved three-year contract at Super League giants Leeds Rhinos.
Foster, 20, excelled in the Rhinos’ forward line at the end of last season after making his Super League debut against Widnes Vikings in July.
And the club have rewarded his fine efforts with a one-year contract extension tieing him to the club till 2016.
Foster told the Wetherby News: “It was the icing on the cake to the season.
“There are massive hopes and aspirations at this club.
“I can’t see myself getting any better rugby anywhere else. It’s really comfortable for me and a fantastic place to ply my trade.
“I want to keep working hard and improve as a player. I know I can do that at this club.”
Foster, who lives in Knaresborough, made eight appearances for the Rhinos last term and scored his first try against London Broncos.
He helped the Headingley-outfit into the Super League play-off semi-finals before they missed out on the Grand Final, losing 22-12 to Wigan Warriors.
Foster took the positives from his “incredible” first season and credited the squad despite the devastating play-off defeat.
He said: “It was a great season for the Rhinos. It was just unfortunate. The efforts really deserved more.
“I never imagined that I would be making my debut within this season, let alone playing such a big part.
“I was quite lucky with injuries that I got my chance but I thought I took my opportunity well.”
Foster represented Wetherby Bulldogs throughout his junior career and was part of the Under 12s team which claimed the club’s first silverware at Headingley Stadium seven years ago.
Wetherby’s support of the forward also drew praise from Rhinos head coach Brian McDermott, who tipped the youngster to become a Super League star in the next few seasons.
He said: “Alex did a great job for us last season and showed that he has a big future in Super League if he continues to work hard.
“He has great tremendous support from his family and amateur club at Wetherby Bulldogs.
“It is a credit to them how Alex has acquitted himself so far and I am sure they are very proud of him.”
Foster added: “Wetherby were absolutely critical in my development. I like to pride myself on getting this far because of the people around me. Wetherby are definitely one of those. I played for them for 10 years. Every step of the way they were behind me.”
“The people who look after the club were so supportive and always eager to see how I was doing. “