All-rounder Ed Barnard has become the latest member of Worcestershire CCC's conveyor belt of exciting young players to sign a new long term contract.

And the former England Under-19 player is optimistic the nucleus of budding talent being assembled at New Road will be challenging for titles and trophies within the next few seasons after he put pen to paper on a three year deal.

Barnard had one year remaining of his current contract but has now committed his future at New Road until the end of the 2018 campaign and says he sees himself playing for the County "for a long time."

He has followed in the footsteps of his flat-mate and close friend Joe Clarke (three years) and Ross Whiteley (four years) in signing a new contract.

In addition Academy duo Josh Tongue and Ben Twohig have penned their first professional contracts – for two years from October 1, 2015 – and Alex Hepburn has extended his contract to the end of the 2016 season.

Barnard made his LV = County Championship debut away to Hampshire in June and has been an ever present in the Rapids side which reached the quarter-finals of the NatWest T20 Blast.

He also scored his first senior 50 in the Royal London One-Day Cup clash with Somerset at Taunton and has taken 12 wickets in seven games in the competitiion.

Barnard said: "I am thrilled. Worcestershire is a great place to play, especially for a young player and the likes of Joe Clarke and Ross Whiteley have signed long term contracts as well.

"It shows there is a bright future here at Worcestershire and I've been happy with the way I've played this season and it's been good to get a reward with a new contract.

"For me it was always going to be an easy choice to stay at Worcestershire. They've been great to me and I'm delighted to sign.

"I love Worcestershire and long term, I see myself playing here for a long time.

"We've shown throughout the season that the youngsters are very strong here and we've got a good nucleus of players that hopefully in the next three or four years will be challenging for titles and trophies.

"Bumpy (Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes) and Mitch (skipper Daryl Mitchell) have always been keen on getting the youngsters in there and they reward you if you do well in the Seconds and they see potential.

"There's no reason for the youngsters to move. It is one of the best places in the country to play cricket."

Worcestershire Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes said: "Ed is another product of our Academy which is testament again to the work by the coaches.

"As a 19-year-old, he has played every one-day game this year which is a remarkable effort from him.

"He is multi-skilled with bat and ball and in the field, a former England Under-19 product, and we are absolutely delighted he has signed a three year contract.

"I am looking forward to working with him over this next three years and trying to enhance such a bright prospect.

"Can he be a genuine all-rounder? Definitely, he has got capabilities as a batsman as you saw down at Taunton with a wonderful 50 in the one-day game recently.

"We all know his bowling skills as well. He has definitely got three strings to his bow, he is a super fielder and we look forward to working with him."