Blackburn's Irish youngster Gavin Gunning has won a first pro deal.

Gunning had extra reason to celebrate his 17th birthday on Sunday after signing a two-and-a-half-year deal that will keep him at Ewood Park until 2010.

The highly-rated Academy captain has made a massive impact in his first season at Brockhall, making 16 appearances for Gary Bowyer's Under-18s and three for Glyn Hodges' reserves.