Schalke extend Howedes contract until 2017

The German team have announced that they have extended the club captain's contract until 2017, with coach Horst Heldt praising his defender's influence at the side
Schalke have announced that defender Benedikt Howedes has accepted a contract extension that could keep him with the German side until 2017.

The 25-year-old defender has been one of Schalke's most consistent performers this season, and has formed the bedrock of their defensive line since joining the club as a youth player in 2001.

The club's official Twitter account posted a message confirming the deal, saying: "We are pleased about Benedikt Howedes' contract extension until 2017."

Club general manager Horst Heldt added: "Benedikt is one of the faces of our club.

"I was in the dressing room [after Schalke's 2-1 win over Borussia Dortmund] and have not [had] the reactions of the fans [yet]. I'm sure that they have been pleased by the news."

The Schalke captain himself also spoke about the extension, and explained why signing the new deal was such an easy decision.

"I come from this region and feel very comfortable here. The decision is not a hard one for me."

"Schalke is a totaly crazy club where I feel very, very comfortable. I really like the familiar environment and the interaction with the fans."