HIGHLY-RATED midfield duo Rob Harvey and Thomas Dunningham have become the latest players to sign contracts with Brightlingsea Regent.

Harvey has been retained and penned another one-year deal, although will spend the first three weeks of pre-season training with Championship side Millwall.

The 18-year-old enjoyed a successful three-week trial with the Lions in April.

Dunningham, meanwhile, has signed his first contract - also for a year - after catching the eye when breaking into the first-team late last season.

“Rob's an excellent young man with a really bright future ahead of him," said delighted Regent boss Tom Rothery.

"It’s great he wants to stay at the club for another season, although he will begin pre-season with Millwall.

"They've invited him back for the first three weeks and we'll see how that develops.

"As a club and personally, I’m really pleased for Rob.

"He obviously did enough when playing in a trial game for them to be impressed and for him to earn more time with them.

"Their head of recruitment told me they liked what they saw and they also like the fact Rob is so eager and keen to listen, learn and develop."

Rothery also has high hopes for Dunningham and believes it is a perfect example of the Regent pathway, with young players being given the chance to graduate into their Bostik League side.

"Thomas signing again shows what we're trying to do as a club and that’s develop our own players and move them through into the first team," he said.

"That shows a clear pathway for the youngsters at Brightlingsea, if they are committed, dedicated and wanting to progress as individuals and players.

"For me, it’s great to work with Thomas, having coached him when he was 12.

"Last season he showed he could play at this level and now it’s down to him to really work hard and try to push himself to the front of my thoughts and cement himself in our first-team squad."

The news caps a busy few days for Brightlingsea, who have completed the signings of midfielders Harvey Hodd and Harry Morgan and FC Clacton defender Brad James.

Record appearance-maker Jake Gould and midfield dynamo Jake Turner have also signed new one-year deals but players' player-of-the-year James Love has decided to move on and leave the Taydal Stadium.