The 18-year-old midfielder has been rewarded for the progress he has made since accepting a scholarship two summers ago.

Joe, who hails from Chilton in South Durham, has already reached double figures in goals this season with 10 for the Under-18s and one for the U23s, his first at that level.

Academy manager Craig Liddle said: “He’s been in the system since U9 and he has progressed really well over the last couple of years. We’re delighted to offer him a professional contract.”

The youngster’s signing comes in the same week that it was announced that 12 players have been offered scholarships to start next summer.