JACK Stevens is aiming to repay Oxford United’s faith by showing he is good enough for the first team during his new deal.

The 20-year-old goalkeeper was rewarded this week with a contract which will keep him at the club until summer 2019.

United also have the option of a 12-month extension.

Stevens was delighted his future was clarified well before the summer.

“It’s nice for it to be sorted early and not be worrying towards the end of the season,” he said.

“I’m just trying to prove to the club and everybody that I’m capable of doing a job for Oxford United and trying to play as well as I can for whichever club I’m at.”

While he spent the second half of last season as Simon Eastwood’s understudy on the bench, Stevens has yet to make his competitive debut for United.

Instead, he has been sent out on loan at Oxford City, where he was a key part of their terrific run to the Emirates FA Cup second round, before joining Tamworth.

He said: “I’ve learned a lot this season, with a lot of ups and downs.

“I think it’s important to go out and play games, especially as a young goalkeeper.”

The loans in the Vanarama National League have allowed Stevens to continue training with United.

And Eastwood was thrilled to see the youngster offered a longer deal.

United’s No 1 said: “ I think it’s very much deserved.

“I’m a big fan of his and hopefully he can keep pushing and you never know what will happen next season.”

Caretaker boss Derek Fazackerley added: “Jack’s come on leaps and bounds.

“He’s gained good experience on loan this season at Oxford City, particularly the cup run they had.

“He’s shown in those games he’s developing nicely and obviously it’s important for him to play.

“When he trains with us now he’s beginning to look the part, which is encouraging.”