MATTY SARGENT says his performances as a scholar in Wrexham's first-team has given the teenager belief he can make the step up when he joins the senior ranks next season.

The 17-year-old has signed his first professional contract, putting pen to paper on a one-year deal along with fellow midfielder Jack Thorn after completing their scholarships.

No stranger to the first-team set-up, Sargent made his debut in December's 3-0 FA Trophy first round win against Boston United as a late substitute, and made his first league appearance when he started Wrexham's 2-1 victory over Harrogate Town on the final day of the regular season.

Sargent impressed in the win and it has given him an appetite for more first-team action.

"It was brilliant to sign my first professional contract," said Sargent, who comes from Connah's Quay.

"I am excited to start and can't wait to get back for pre-season.

"Hopefully I can break into the team.

"I feel confident with the way I played in those two games last season. I really enjoyed it playing in front of the fans."

Sargent was pleased with how he performed against Harrogate when manager Bryan Hughes opted to rest some players with Wrexham guaranteed a play-off berth.

"The game went well for me," said Sargent, who celebrates his 18th birthday in July.

"I put no pressure on myself and the gaffer looked after me.

"He told me there was no pressure and to go out and play with confidence, and I did that.

"All the first team lads helped me. I had experienced pros like James Jennings and Mark Carrington who helped me through the game, telling me to play with freedom.

"It has given me a confidence boost to try and get in the first team next season, which is what I am aiming for."

Sargent heads into the new season buoyed by the fact manager Hughes, who came through the ranks at The Racecourse in the 1990s, has shown he isn't afraid to give youth a chance.

"Hopefully I can impress in each game I play this season," said Sargent.

"It is a massive pre-season for me, I have got to start off in the right way and make a good impression.

"The fact that the gaffer has shown faith with youth fills me with confidence, I could not ask for much more.

"I am really excited and I am looking forward to this season."

Sargent is pleased that he has close friend Thorn, who has already turned 18 and made his senior debut as a substitute in the final day win over Harrogate, for company as the duo continue their development in the professional ranks.

"I have played with Jack since the age of four," added Sargent.

"For both of us to get professional contracts is amazing.

"We have always played football together and our families are very close."