RYAN SHAWCROSS admitted that Stoke City's desire to keep moving forward was a key factor in his decision to sign a new long-term contract.
The England defender is excited by the prospect of more good times ahead with City after emerging as such an influential figure over the past five years.
Shawcross cemented his future at the Britannia Stadium by putting pen-to-paper on a new five-and-a-half year agreement, thus putting an end to speculation that he might be lured away to one of the Premier League's big clubs in the near future.
"I wouldn't have signed the contract if I didn't think the Club was moving forward," said the 25-year-old defender who joined the Potters from Manchester United at the beginning of their campaign in which they won promotion to the Premier League.
"Throughout the talks with the manager and Tony Scholes over the past few months, they were very positive about what the Club is aiming to achieve in the future.
"Hopefully, we can build on what has been achieved over the past five years. From what I've heard from them, I am confident we can keep on improving."
He added: "Obviously, I am delighted to sign this new deal. It took a long time in coming, but I am very pleased to commit my future to the Club.
Shawcross is quick to credit the influence of manager Tony Pulis in the impressive progress he has made since he moved to the Britannia Stadium.
"The manager is probably the main reason why I'm where I am today," he said. "I've been here for five years now and he's been great throughout that time.
"I came here because I felt the manager could get the best out of me, and I just want to continue what I've been doing so far; keep on improving."