Staying with Gillingham was an easy decision to make for young defender Jack Tucker.
He’s been with the club since the age of seven, but was subject to a bid from an unnamed Championship side last week.
On the same day the Gills rejected the approach Tucker penned a new deal, offering him security for a couple more years at least.
The central defender, who has become a regular starter under boss Steve Evans, said: “I knew about the offer. The gaffer spoke to me as soon as it happened but it didn’t take a lot of persuading.
“I knew where my future was, certainly for the next couple of years; it was a simple decision to make.
“I know at my age I need to be playing games of football and I have got full faith in the gaffer and (assistant) Paul Raynor to get that chance – if I am playing well – to go and show what I
Whitstable-based Tucker, 20, has seen his career take off this season. He made just one appearance in the last campaign, playing a game in the Football League Trophy.
Evans spotted his potential from day one and has made him a mainstay in the side, playing alongside captain Max Ehmer in the heart of the Gills defence.
He’s clocked up 19 appearances so far this season and has started the last 10 in the league.
He said: “I always had confidence in myself that I had the ability to push myself to where I am getting to now, but this time last year I wouldn’t have imagined I would have played as many games as I have done now and cement myself in there.
“It is nice to hear the backing from the manager and whenever anyone gives you praise you always thrive on it, but you have to make sure you keep going.
“The gaffer has put his faith in me and trusted me many times this season and I am hopefully going to repay him with performances on the pitch and keep working hard off it.”
Gillingham haven’t revealed the length of the new deal but the defender said: “It’s a few years. It will take care of me for the next couple of years. I am secure.”
Evans has always maintained that Tucker’s best option was to stay at the club.
He said: “We have been talking to Jack for a couple of weeks. His family are great people and he made it clear that he was happy to do it.
“With no midweek game, it was an ideal opportunity for us to talk more in regards to future development and he signed his extension. He’s here for a few more years, credit to him. He deserves it.”
Evans had been delighted to see the club turn down an approach for the defender before a deal was completed, adding: “Credit to chairman Paul Scally for flatly rejecting the offer for the player. He will get better and better as he plays more games.
“He will not be the only player we get bids for in the January transfer window but as always that business side of the club belongs to our chairman and his board of directors.”
Tucker says he is benefiting by playing alongside the likes of Ehmer and veteran Barry Fuller.
He said: “I have got great lads around me, Max and Baz especially. Baz has been around forever.
“Connor Ogilvie has been unbelievable this season. I have people around me, looking after me, and even in training I can pick up different things from them and try and apply them on the pitch.”
A great week for Tucker was capped by a winning weekend, Gills beating MK Dons 3-1 on Saturday. Next up is a trip to third-placed Ipswich on Boxing Day.
He said: “Winning games keeps morale high around the place and I was happy to get that all sorted to secure my future for the next few years. It was a good way to start the busy period over Christmas.
“We weren’t at our best (against MK Dons) but we got the three points and that is all that matters.
“Ipswich is a great place to go and an opportunity for us to keep this run going.”