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Page last updated at 10:00 GMT, Wednesday, 21 May 2008 11:00 UK

Kirkland signs new Wigan contract

Chris Kirkland
Kirkland won Wigan's Player of the Year award for this season

Goalkeeper Chris Kirkland has signed a new four-year contract with Wigan that ties him to the club until June 2012.

After spells with Liverpool and West Brom, the 27-year-old has settled at the JJB Stadium and has kept 20 clean sheets in 64 appearances.

"I knew Chris was a good keeper before I joined but until I had worked with him, I didn't realise just how good he actually is," said manager Steve Bruce.

"Him signing this new deal is a massive boost for the club."

Kirkland started his career as a highly rated youngster with Coventry City before being snapped up for 6m by Liverpool, where he endured a major struggle with injuries.

But with one senior England cap to his name and some excellent form that helped keep Wigan in the Premier League this season, Kirkland has become the target of transfer speculation - which manager Bruce is happy to see the end of.

606: DEBATE

"I could not be more pleased to have Chris commit his future to Wigan Athletic, everyone knows what a professional he is," stated the former Birmingham boss.

"When I joined the club we were shipping on average over two goals a game and no matter how good your strikers are, it is virtually impossible to score three goals in this league to win every game.

"So it is no coincidence that Chris' run of clean sheets, the good form of the team defensively, meant that we picked up 31 points in about the last 30 games to secure our status with a game to go.

"This is an excellent foundation to continue building for next season."


see also
Skoko & Olembe released by Wigan
15 May 08 |  Wigan Athletic
Wigan 0-2 Man Utd
11 May 08 |  Premier League
Permanent Wigan deal for Kirkland
27 Oct 06 |  Wigan Athletic
Kirkland waits on West Brom fate
18 Apr 06 |  Liverpool
Ogrizovic backs Kirkland revival
10 Jun 05 |  West Bromwich Albion
Chris Kirkland
17 May 04 |  England
New injury woe for Kirkland
13 Mar 04 |  Chelsea
Kirkland handed big chance
03 Dec 02 |  Liverpool
Kirkland thwarts Saints
06 Nov 02 |  Football
Kirkland linked with 5m Liverpool move
15 Jan 01 |  Coventry City


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