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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug 23, 2011

Wigan secure trio on new deals

Wigan trio James McCarthy, Emmerson Boyce and Ben Watson have all signed new contracts with the club.

• Wigan blog: A solid start

Former Hamilton star McCarthy has committed his future to the north-west outfit for the next five seasons, with fellow midfielder Ben Watson penning a three-year deal. Defender Boyce, who is closing on the club's record tally of Premier League appearances, has signed for two years.

Latics manager Roberto Martinez said: ''In any transfer window, all we often hear about are possible new arrivals and targets coming out of the blue and we can sometimes forget the importance of keeping a really competitive core of players at the club.

''We have been talking to several of our players and we are delighted to announce these first three, with hopefully more to come very soon. Having players commit their long-term futures provides the platform we need to build from.

''James is a young man with a very big future in the game, and it speaks volumes that he has chosen Wigan to carry on his football education. We are proud to have him as a Wigan Athletic player.

''Ben has grown to become a key member of the team over the past 12 months and has shown great maturity on the field. He is in the best moment of his career but I'm sure his best years still lie in front of him, here at the DW Stadium.

''As for Emmerson, what can we say? He is now in his sixth season at the club and is a true professional who continues to set the highest daily standards, he is an example to others around him and a true ambassador for Wigan Athletic.''

McCarthy's superb goal against Blackburn was voted by fans as last season's Latics goal of the season, and the 20-year-old Republic of Ireland international has also been named Wigan's young player of the year for both seasons since his arrival.

''I owe a big debt of loyalty to the club and the gaffer for giving me the chance to prove myself in the Premier League, and I am really pleased to be able to sign this deal,'' he said.

Watson has joined McCarthy as a key figure in Martinez's first-choice midfield after excelling in the latter stages of last season, and the 26-year-old said: ''I'm looking forward to keep establishing ourselves further in the Premier League over the next few years and there's a real good feeling at the club right now.

''I've really enjoyed my time here and I just want to thank the manager, the club and the supporters for making me feel so welcome.''

Boyce's 134 top-flight appearances leave him just 11 short of Paul Scharner's club record and the 31-year-old said: ''I'm delighted to sign for another two years, I've enjoyed the best years of my career here.

''There have been many changes during my time, but it's a great young squad at the moment that will keep improving. Thanks to all the supporters for sticking by me over the years!''

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