James McClean extends Sunderland contract

Sunderland extend McClean stay until 2015 after winger's big impact under O'Neill

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UPDATED:

09:54 GMT, 23 March 2012

Sunderland winger James McClean has signed a new three-year contract at the Stadium of Light.

The 22 year-old Republic of Ireland international, who joined the club from League of Ireland side Derry City for 350,000 last summer, has been a revelation under Martin O’Neill since his debut three months ago.

McClean, who has still only made 14 Barclays Premier League appearances for Sunderland, was signed by Steve Bruce but made his debut in O’Neill’s first game in charge as Sunderland boss. He has scored four goals and made his Ireland debut against the Czech Republic last month.

New deal: Sunderland winger James McClean (right) has put pen to paper

New deal: Sunderland winger James McClean (right) has put pen to paper

McClean said: 'I’m thrilled to be
here. I’m really enjoying my football and to have earned a new contract
is a dream. I’m over the moon to see my next three years with
Sunderland.'

Sunderland manager O’Neill added: 'I
am absolutely delighted that James has committed himself to the club. He
has had an explosive start to his career here at Sunderland and long
may it continue.'

Impact: McLean only joined the club from Derry City last summer

Impact: McLean only joined the club from Derry City last summer

Derry-born McClean began his career
with local side Trojans FC before coming through the youth ranks at
Derry City, making his first team debut for the Candystripes in 2008 and
scored 73 league appearances. He had a brief trial with Lincoln City
before returning to Derry.

He was spotted by Sunderland scout
Bryan ‘Pop’ Robson and signed after starring for a League of Ireland XI
in a pre-season tournament featuring Manchester City and Inter Milan
last year, with Bruce beating off competition from Wigan and
Peterborough.