New City signing wants to follow in footsteps of Aarons and Godfrey
PUBLISHED: 09:46 09 February 2020 | UPDATED: 09:46 09 February 2020
Norwich City's reputation in developing young talent convinced Sam McCallum that they were the best club to help him progress.
Eighteen months ago, the 19-year-old was preparing to make his league debut for Herne Bay in front of 280 people. Last week, he signed a four-year deal with the Canaries.
You could forgive McCallum for experiencing a sense of overwhelm around how the last week has transpired but the left-back seems to have taken it all in his stride.
His humble non-league beginnings have helped keep him grounded, something that he thinks will aid his development going forwards.
"Playing in non-league football has given me a base layer in men's football and I've been able to experience gamesmanship and time wasting and that's helped me get to Coventry, let alone Norwich.
"I was working with my neighbours who run an accountancy business and that wasn't nice having to finish school and do that but I enjoyed getting the money at that age," McCallum jokes.
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"I'm grateful for what has been offered to me. Even with the Coventry staff who have done so much for me."
City's belief in young players is proving to be an attractive option for talented prospects who can see a tangible pathway to first-team football at Carrow Road.
Daniel Farke's patience in young players was the reassurance McCallum wanted to hear before committing to City.
"The philosophy is great down there. They've brought through Ben Godfrey, Max Aarons and Jamal Lewis who are all starting week in, week out.
"They're now moving into the England set-up as well and that's what I aspire to do," McCallum said.
"I know Norwich will help to progress me like they have with the prospects at the club at the moment. It's not just like there is one player coming through, there's loads of them."
McCallum thought his dream of playing football professionally was over after being released by Gillingham as a 15-year-old, but his determination to bounce back was unrelenting.
The next task, after contributing to Coventry's cause, is to establish himself at Carrow Road.