Derry winger James McClean has received another boost in his bid to earn a Euro 2012 call-up.
The 22-year-old former Northern Ireland underage star has agreed a lucrative new contract at Sunderland.
McClean has signed a new deal that ties him to the Stadium of Light club until 2015.
The contract, a reward for his impressive first season with the club, is a significant boost ahead of the Euros.
McClean won his first Ireland cap as a late substitute against the Czech Republic last month and is desperate to make the European Championships squad.
This new deal, agreed with Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill, will help.
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.”
Manager O’Neill said: “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.”