Middlesbrough star aiming to improve on breakthrough season after penning new deal under Michael Carrick

Hayden Hackney has put pen to paper on a new Middlesbrough contract as he looks to improve on an impressive breakthrough season at the Riverside.
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Boro boss Michael Carrick has moved swiftly to tie down the exciting 20-year-old after a fine debut season on Teesside.

Hackney established himself as a regular in Carrick’s midfield as Boro made it to the Championship play-offs – the youngster’s form also alerting the attention of the Scottish national side where he earned his first under-21s caps last season.

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And Hackney, who has progressed through the ranks on Teesside over the last 10 years, has now committed his future to the club, signing a deal until 2027, with the hope being he can develop further under Carrick.

Hayden Hackney has agreed a new deal with Middlesbrough. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)Hayden Hackney has agreed a new deal with Middlesbrough. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Hayden Hackney has agreed a new deal with Middlesbrough. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

"After last season, I really enjoyed my first season playing first team football and hopefully I can do the same again this year,” Hackney told the club website.

“At the start of it I was shocked to get in and then I seemed to settle really well and just played my stuff, so hopefully that can continue.

"My debut was very special and I can’t wait to get back out there in front of the fans.”

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He added on Carrick’s influence: “In training he just gives me little things to work on like my body position, there’s not many better to learn from.

“All the lads were very welcoming. It was hard at the start because I’m quite shy, but all the lads welcomed me in nicely so it was good.”

Hackney returned with the rest of the squad for pre-season duty recently as Boro prepare for their season opener with Millwall in August.

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Carrick’s side will take part in a warm weather training camp in Portugal ahead of friendlies with Hartlepool United, York City, Rotherham United, Bradford City and AJ Auxerre.

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And Hackney is already looking ahead to the new season having fallen just short against Coventry City in the play-offs.

“I think last year we just fell a bit short but hopefully this year we can really go for it,” he said.

“It’s been hard work but everyone has settled in well and the football has been good.

“There’s a good group of players here and we’re all gelling well together so there’s exciting times to come.”