NIKO Hamalainen has agreed a new four-year deal with QPR, keeping him at the club until 2024.
The 23-year-old’s original contract was due to expire next summer.
Born in Florida, Hamalainen joined the R’s six years ago from the FC Dallas academy. During his time in W12 he has enjoyed spells on loan at Dagenham & Redbridge, LAFC and, most recently, Kilmarnock.
Now, after signing his new deal, he is hoping to kick on with his Rangers career.
“I am very, very pleased,” said the Finland international.
“The club have shown faith in me with this contract and now it is all about me pushing forward and getting game time.
“I feel this is a really significant time for me and my career.”
Hamalainen has featured regularly for the club’s Under 23s as part of his development and, like many before him, he is quick to praise the coaches he has worked with.
“Paul Hall, Andrew Impey and obviously Chris Ramsey know everything about football and developing players, and that has been shown in the past,” he said.
“I have learnt a lot and that can only be beneficial for me.”
Now set to battle with experienced pro Lee Wallace for the left-back slot in the first team, Hamalainen explained: “Lee has played so many games in his career and he speaks with me in training, giving me pointers that will help me in my career which is great.”
Hamalainen made 32 appearances for Scottish Premiership side Kilmarnock last season in all competitions, and he added: “Going there proved I can play week in, week out at a good level and hopefully that has shown the club they can trust me.”
Hamalainen said he is now desperate to succeed with QPR, adding: “I am so hungry to do well, and that’s the main focus for me now – to play as many games as I can for the first team and push on.”