‘The ball is in his court’ - City keeper needs to kick on again
Kevin Wiatrowski/Visit Tampa Bay
Aston Oxborough has the talent to follow in the best tradition of Norwich City keepers. But the ball is now in his court for how far he goes, insists first team keeping coach Ed Wootten.
The Gorleston-bred prospect signed a new Carrow Road deal keeping him at his boyhood club until at least 2022.
Oxborough had helped Wealdstone reach the top of National South during a season long loan stint prior to football’s shutdown for coronavirus.
But the 21-year-old will have to prove himself higher up the pyramid next year to push his longer term first team claims.
“It’s just a case now of a higher-level club coming in for him and us getting him out there and seeing what he can do,” said City’s first team keeping coach Wootten, who has made a number of scouting trips to check up on his charge.
“I’m more than confident that he can go and be a success in that environment as well. I’ve been to watch him a few times and every time he has played very well.
“The loan wasn’t particularly glamorous for him, going down to Wealdstone which has a typical non-league ground which isn’t particularly welcoming. He adjusted to those circumstances successfully.
“He’s looked above the level there and done well in that challenge. Now, it’s about trying to go to a higher level, hopefully into the Football League, which he’s more than capable of next season, and see where we go from there.”
Oxborough admitted after penning his new City deal there is plenty of inspiration to follow the same path as the likes of Jamal Lewis and Todd Cantwell.
Wootten, speaking to the official site, is convinced City’s brightest starlets are at the right club.
“It’s important for young players to know there’s a pathway for them,” he said. “If you’re at a club where you see only one player in the last ten years who has come through, that doesn’t do much for your inspiration to progress and push on.
“He’s got it right in front of his own eyes.
“He can see young players are given a chance, so the ball’s in his court. We’ve given him the opportunity and platform to go and play.
“It’s down to him now to test himself at a really good level.
“He’s progressing each day, week and month, so we’re pleased with where he’s at.”