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Everton pair pen contract extensions

High-flying Everton FC have been boosted by the news that homegrown duo Tony Hibbert and Leon Osman have signed new long-term contracts with the Toffees.

UEFA Cup challengers Everton FC have been boosted by the news that homegrown duo Tony Hibbert and Leon Osman have signed new long-term contracts with the club.

Longest-serving players
Although Hibbert and Osman are both just 26, they are the two longest serving players in Everton's senior squad and have agreed deals keeping them at Goodison Park until 2012. Right-back Hibbert, who has made 155 Premier League appearances for the club, said: "I'm very happy to be carrying on playing my football here. It's good to sign at the same time as Leon. We've grown up together and been playing for Everton for many years. It's good to see that we're still wanted at the club and it's a good thing that it's for five years."

Academy products
Midfielder Osman came through in the same academy side as Hibbert and added: "We started talking [about a new contract] a couple of months back, but I don't think there was ever any doubt that I was going to commit my long-term future to the club. I've been here since I left school, and that's a long time but it's where I want to play my football." The news will be welcomed by manager David Moyes as he prepares for Everton's UEFA Cup Round of 32 tie with SK Brann on 13 and 21 February, although a more immediate priority is the second leg of the English League Cup semi-final on Wednesday night, with Everton trailing Chelsea 2-1 after the first game.

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