Teenager Elliott Whitehead has signed a new and improved Bulls contract until the end of 2011.

The young second rower has made a sizeable impression this term after a Super League debut against Wake-field in June.

Playing seven of the last ten games, including two starts, Whitehead has shown plenty of the promise that saw him win England Academy honours.

However, having stepped up to first grade with ease, Steve McNamara was keen to quickly tie him down to a new deal, even though the local lad was still contracted until the end of next season.

Ahead of their home game with Catalans Dragons tomorrow, the Odsal chief said: “Elliott really deserves this. He’s a smart footballer, both offensively and defensively, who knows how we want to play the game.

“He’s already offered plenty this season but he has a whole lot more to give too.

“I think with another pre-season under his belt, particularly for his physical development, he’ll really push on.”

Whitehead has sat out the last two games but is included in the 19-man squad tomorrow and hopes to earn a recall.

McNamara has seen the West Bowling product advance through the club’s Academy system and prosper in full-time training over the last year before holding his own against the best Super League has to offer.

“Elliott doesn’t mess about; he’s not a kid who gets fazed by much,” added the coach. “He gets on with what he has to do and we’re really pleased with him.

“He has some fantastic skills, a great off-load and I’m sure he’ll be a real force to be reckoned with as his career progresses.”

Whitehead, who bagged his first senior try in last month’s win at Celtic Crusaders, had initially worked as an electrician before going professional last year.

“Those days are long gone – I can’t even remember how to wire a plug now!” joked the player, who turns 20 in two weeks’ time.

“I’m really pleased to have signed a new contract.

“Playing for the Bulls is all I’ve wanted to do since I was young and as soon as I they offered me a deal I didn’t have to think about it.

“I feel like I’ve gone well this year, the club’s been good to me and I reckon I’ve progressed as a player as well as an individual.

“Hopefully I’ve shown what I’m capable of, I can get some more chances before the end of the season and then build on it next year too.”

Whitehead might be hard pressed getting back in McNamara’s side as they have won their last two matches in his absence.

But with Glenn Morrison departing for Wakefield at the end of the season and both Matt Cook and David Solomona out of contract, there is a real opportunity for the rangy forward to press home his claims in 2010.

“It’s up to me to show I’m capable of cementing a starting second-row spot,” added Whitehead.

“Hopefully, if they don’t bring anyone in, I don’t see why I can’t do that.

“I feel I’m capable of it. First, everyone’s getting ready for Catalans though.

“They’ll be a good challenge for us but we’re looking to continue our run and get another win.”

McNamara has challenged his side to complete the regular campaign as Super League’s most dangerous team.

With victories over Harlequins and Huddersfield already chalked up, they have targeted a five-match winning run to round off the campaign.

That still probably won’t be enough to get into the play-offs but the boss said: “This next game is going to be important for us.

“Things are out of our hands as regards the play-offs and they have been for a number of weeks.

“We have just made a commitment to ourselves to finish the season off in the best possible form we can and it would be nice to be regarded as the form team as the season ends.

“If that form manages to get us further, then so be it as well, but there is a whole host of reasons to play well between now and the end of the season.”