St Mirren’s Kieran Offord has targeted cinch Premiership football after agreeing a two-year contract extension until 2024 with the option of a further year.
The Buddies’ academy graduate, who turned 18 on Monday, made his first-team debut in a 0-0 draw with Celtic in December before coming on as a substitute against Rangers at Ibrox four days later.
The Saints forward has spent most of this season on loan at Lowland League side East Stirlingshire, where he has scored nine goals in 12 games so far, while he has also been capped by Scotland Under-19s this season.
Offord told stmirren.com. “I feel like I’m ready now for the challenge to push on.
“I was involved in the games against Celtic and Rangers before Christmas and I’ve been out on loan as well.
“I’ve been working hard to try and get to the level I want and that’s the Premiership.
“The loan has been very beneficial. I’ve been playing against men week in, week out and I’ve been scoring goals.
“It’s helped prepare for training with the first team and hopefully it can help me playing with the first team.
“I’ve been training with the first team a lot more and there has been more opportunity for me.
“It’s a lot more physically demanding and fitness-wise I feel like I’m pushing myself to the limits and getting better and better.
“The manager has said that he feels if I work hard then there is an opportunity for me to impress him and if I do well enough I’ll be given a chance.”
Manager Stephen Robinson described Offord as “a real bright spark since I’ve come to the club” and said: “I’ve involved a number of youth team players since I arrived at the club and he was one that really caught my eye.
“There has been a lot of interest in Kieran from clubs in Scotland and England and I felt it was important that we got him tied down to a longer-term deal.
“We want to create an identity and a pathway for young players at our club.
“Kieran sees the pathway that we are trying to create here and the hard work for him starts now.”
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