Williamson and Ranger extend Newcastle contracts

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Newcastle United defender Mike Williamson has signed a new five-and-a-half year contract, keeping him at St James' Park until 2016.

The centre-back has impressed on Tyneside after arriving from Portsmouth in January and he is delighted to have settled his long-term future.

"Playing in the Premier League with a club like Newcastle has been a dream for me, and I was delighted to agree a new contract to continue doing that until 2016," he said.

"I've played in the lower leagues before, so to get the opportunity to play at St. James' Park every other week – and grounds like The Emirates and Old Trafford – is fantastic for me.

"Me and my family have settled here quickly and it's great to know that we'll be staying here for a long time to come."

Magpies manager Chris Hughton added:"Mike has been outstanding for us since he came here. He was somebody who I tracked for a while before we got him, and he has perhaps exceeded even the expectations we had of him.

"He has a brilliant attitude and in my opinion has been one of the best English centre-backs in the league this season. I thoroughly believe that his best years are yet to come, so we're thrilled to have agreed the new contract."

Meanwhile, young striker Nile Ranger has also penned a five-and-a-half year deal.

"I'm loving it at Newcastle. I really feel I can develop here and I can only learn from some of the players here," he added.

"The fans have been great with me from day one and even though I'd spent my whole life down south until I came here, this feels like home now."

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