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Saturday 19 Jan 2019
Easy decision: Michael Smith pens new two-year deal at Tynecastle

Northern Ireland defender Michael Smith has signed a contract extension at Scottish Premiership club Hearts.

The new deal, announced on Friday evening, will keep him at Tynecastle until May 2021.

The Newtownabbey native has been in excellent form this season and his consistent performances were rewarded by international boss Michael O’Neill with starts in November’s friendly against the Republic of Ireland and the Nations League clash at home to Austria.

Speaking to the club’s official website the 30-year-old said penning a new deal was an easy decision to make.

“As a player, I’m very happy here. I’ve been playing most weeks and playing well and I feel comfortable here," he said.

“As a family as well, you know, we feel very settled in Edinburgh.

“The first time I ever came up here it took me by surprise how big the club was. Ever since then I’ve really enjoyed playing in front of these fans week in, week out.”

Jambos manager Craig Levein highlighted the progress the former Peterborough player has made since he made the move north in 2017.

“I believe Michael has improved as a player since joining the club, which is reflected by the fact he has earned several international caps for Northern Ireland during his time here,” Levein said.

“Michael’s performances this season speak for themselves. He’s been playing to a very high level week in, week out and I am delighted that he has committed his future to Hearts.”