SWINDON Town have awarded nine of their brightest young prospects their first professional contracts, with chairman Andrew Fitton pledging his real commitment to the "club's future''.

Town will announce today that nine of their youth team have signed 18-month senior contracts as the club seek to protect their most prized assets.

With Premier League clubs already sniffing around some of the starlets, Town were keen to make sure they did not lose any of them cheaply while also giving the youngsters a golden chance to make it at the County Ground.

Ahead of tonight's FA Youth Cup fifth round tie at Charlton Athletic, Fitton has vowed "real money" will be spent on the developing the club's youth over the next few years as he looks to make the club an attractive option for the country's hottest young talent.

Second-year scholars Jake Hyde, Sam Morris and Callum Kennedy are three of the lucky nine, and are joined by first-year scholars Sean Morrison, Ben Joyce, Lloyd Macklin, Jack Winter, Kurt Hammonds and Mark Scott.

All will be in action for tonight's trip to the Valley as Town look to secure a sixth-round encounter at home to Premiership Sunderland.