WEST Ham youngster Freddie Sears has been rewarded for his red hot form this season by signing a new contract thath will keep him at the club until summer 2010.

The 18-year-old (pictured) has scored 25 goals in 24 U18 and reserve team games and has also been capped twice at England U19 level.

And Academy director Tony Carr was delighted to wrap the deal up.

Speaking to the club's official website, he said: "Even though Freddie was already under contract, it is an indication that if a boy pushes on, does well and catches the eye, the club will recognise that with a new contract.

"This is an incentive for any young player to keep working, keep improving and if they show sufficient improvement they will be able to extend their stay at the football club.

"He has been with us since a very young age. It is a real endorsement of the academy system - another local boy nurtured from a very young age into the professional ranks.

"We have got high hopes for him for the future."

Sears has been on the fringes of the first team of late, and was taken along with the squad to their recent trips to Liverpool and Spurs.

However, Carr was quick to urge the Hornchurch-based forward not to get carried away.

"It is a bit early to start thinking about what he might do and what he might not do," said Carr.

"It is another stage in his development and we are pleased for him."