Aled Summerhill is the latest young player to pen a new Cardiff Blues contract as he fulfils a lifelong dream at the Arms Park.
The 23-year-old utility back grew up supporting Wales’ Capital Region and was a regular on the terraces as he aspired to follow in his heroes’ footsteps.
And after making his competitive debut in 2014, and going on to rack up 33 appearances including a number of eye-catching performances this season, the Rhondda Schools product has agreed a new deal.
In committing his long-term future to Cardiff Blues, he follows fellow youngsters Seb Davies, Owen Lane and Rhun Williams, who have also signed.
He said: “I’m really happy to agree a new deal and there was never any doubt about putting pen to paper. I have always wanted to play for Cardiff Blues and I was delighted when I was offered the contract.
“This is my local region and I’ve come through the academy system here. I love being part of a team that is striving forward and has the determination to develop and succeed.
“I had a Cardiff Blues season ticket when I was younger, and one of the players I remember watching while growing up was Jonah Lomu.
“Ever since then it was a dream to play for the region. That dream has become a reality, which is nice but I need to keep playing well and working hard to play more and more games.”
With so much young talent emerging in the Cardiff Blues back-line, complemented by experience, there is plenty of competition for places.
Summerhill has made nine appearances to date in the current campaign, scoring two tries in the process, and he is determined to do everything in his power to keep progressing.
He added: “My aim now is to become a regular starter in this team. There’s really tough competition in the back three, but I need to make sure I put my head down, work hard and hopefully that will lead to opportunities.
“The competition for places can only be a good thing, because it drives everyone to get better and better.
“We’re all tight-knit as a squad and are all striving to achieve our targets. We’re a bunch of hungry players who train hard, play hard and hopefully we can build to get some silverware.”