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Last Updated: Friday, 7 November, 2003, 10:27 GMT
Whittingham commits to Villa
Aston Villa midfielder Peter Whittingham
Peter Whittingham has signed a new contract at Aston Villa that will keep him at the club until 2007.

The 19-year-old has carved out a place in David O'Leary's side and has also broken into the England Under-21 squad.

"This is brilliant for me but then I still have to pinch myself sometimes," said Whittingham.

"I have got myself into the Villa first team - but the key is to try and stay there. The season has been great for me but I want to keep doing well."

Whittingham was taken on as a trainee by Villa after being released by Coventry - the team he supported as a child.

Villa boss O'Leary believes the youngster has begun to flourish and deserves to be rewarded with an improved contract.

"Peter was the youngster that caught my eye when I came to Villa," said O'Leary.

"He is one of those players who is willing to learn and take things on board.

"I thought he could cope with the Premiership and believed he could handle it.

"He's a quiet lad but he's coming out of himself a bit and I'm delighted to get his future sorted."

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