Jon Walters extends contract at Stoke

Jon Walters has been rewarded for an impressive first year at Stoke with a 12-month contract extension which keeps him at the Britannia Stadium until the summer of 2015.

The striker was a £2.75million signing from Ipswich a year ago and went on to score 12 goals last season, including five in the Potters' run to the FA Cup final.

Stoke boss Tony Pulis told www.stokecityfc.com: "Jon's rise to prominence is an inspiration to others. He has had to battle his way back up from the lower leagues through hard work and dedication."

Walters began his professional career with Blackburn and Bolton but cut his teeth with moves to Hull, Scunthorpe, Wrexham and Chester before Ipswich forked out £150,000 to take him back up the leagues in 2007.

Pulis added on www.stokecityfc.com: "We took him on because we thought he could do a good job for us, but he has actually done fantastically well and he has now got his just rewards.

"I am sure there are other players out there who could follow his example and make an impact in the Premier League if they are given the chance.

"We are delighted Jon has agreed this new deal and made sure that his long-term future lies with us because he has an important role to play here."

With Stoke currently short of fire power up front, the onus has fallen very much on Walters and strike partner Kenwyne Jones, and Walters is already off the mark for the season after netting the Potters' first Europa League goal against Hajduk Split last month.

The 27-year-old Republic of Ireland international admitted even he was taken aback by the speed with which he adjusted to life in the Premier League.

Walters said: "It was a fantastic first season here for me - far better than I could ever have imagined. I want to repay this club for the faith they have shown in my ability and there are certainly some exciting opportunities to do that."

Walters needed stitches in a head wound and also sustained a gash to his shin in a bruising 1-0 win over Swiss side FC Thun last night but Pulis is confident he will be fit for Sunday's Premier League trip to Norwich.

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