Saints are pleased to announce that goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski has extended his stay at St. Mary's.
The Polish shot stopper's contract expired at the end of last season and now on the eve of the new campaign, he has handed the club a timely boost by agreeing a two year deal with the potential for it to be extended automatically by a further two seasons.
Bialkowski arrived at St. Mary's in 2006 and made his first team debut in the same month aged just 18 years-old, keeping a clean sheet against Crystal Palace. He kept four shut-outs in his first six games before damaging cruciate ligaments in an FA Cup fifth round tie at Newcastle, an injury which put him out until September of that year.
Bart played the final eight league games plus the first leg of the play-off semi-final in the 2006/07 campaign and began the 2007-08 season still in the side, but dropped back to the bench when Kelvin Davis regained fitness. He then had to sit out the final three months of the season after damaging a thumb which needed surgery.
In 2008/09 he appeared in all three rounds of the Carling Cup that Saints participated in but he was unable to dislodge Kelvin Davis in the Championship which prompted a loan spell at divisional rivals Ipswich Town towards the end of the campaign.
Last season Davis held on to the number one jersey, but Bartosz was given a run of games between November and January following an injury to the Club captain. He made several vital contributions to the team in this time including some crucial saves in the penalty shoot out win over Norwich in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy en route to the Final.
Bialkowski in training on Thursday
After taking a break at the end of the campaign, the 23 year-old shot stopper returned to Saints for pre season, featuring in the games at Basingstoke, Farnborough, Sutton, Barnet and Eastleigh, whilst he was also an unused substitute against Reading last weekend.