Teenage Cumbrian winger Lewis Bell is the latest home-grown Carlisle United player to be handed a professional deal.

The promising youngster has caught the eye in first-team training, leading the Blues to upgrade his youth terms.

Bell, 17, has impressed boss Chris Beech and becomes the latest player from United's academy to step up to the pro ranks.

His new two-year deal, plus a one-year option, will start next summer at the end of his two-year youth terms.

Bell, who joined the United youth set-up at nine, has made further progress this summer after featuring in some of Carlisle's senior friendlies last year, including a game against Tranmere when the teenager scored.

He featured for Beech's side in their recent pre-season outing against Liverpool's under-23s, and was among the subs for their first competitive game of 2020/21 against Fleetwood in the EFL Trophy.

Director of football David Holdsworth said the Carlisle-born player had big potential.

He said: "Lewis is a really good lad with an excellent attitude and a very level head.

“His family are fantastic and they’re really pleased and proud of what their son has achieved.

“Make no mistake, he knows that the hard work starts here and that he still has his scholarship to finish properly, but we have no doubt that he’ll do that.

“This is potentially another fantastic player and a great piece of business for our club.”

Academy manager Eric Kinder said the winger had returned this summer with a "different mindset about his football".

He added: "Last season he would worry about taking people on in case he lost it -he always wanted to be conservative and check back - so we’ve told him we don’t mind if he loses it as long as it’s because he’s trying to do something positive.

“I think he’s learned that, and he’s come back a different player and a different person. The first team staff have seen enough in him to offer him his contract, which is really good.”

Carlisle have given professional deals to a number of home-grown players in the last two years.

Jarrad Branthwaite, who is now at Everton, was among them as well as Liam McCarron, now of Leeds.

Currently in the United pro ranks are Josh Dixon, Taylor Charters, Liam Lightfoot, Tom Wilson, Charlie Barnes, Jamie Armstrong and Charlie Birch.