Norwich City academy graduate Sam Kelly leaves Port Vale to sign for Grimsby Town

Sam Kelly on the ball for Norwich City U21s against Manchester United U21s at Carrow Road in 2015. Picture: Matthew Usher

Sam Kelly on the ball for Norwich City U21s against Manchester United U21s at Carrow Road in 2015. Picture: Matthew Usher

© Archant Norfolk 2015

Former Norwich City academy winger Sam Kelly has signed for Grimsby Town after opting to leave Port Vale at the end of his contract.

The 23-year-old made 58 senior appearances for Vale but was unable to stop the Staffordshire side’s slide to relegation and has had his switch to the Mariners confirmed today.

Kelly is reunited with former Norwich U21s boss Paul Wilkinson at Blundell Park, who is assistant to manager Russell Slade, and the Huntingdon-born youngster is delighted with his two-year deal.

“Russell has been a manager at some great clubs and is a big name in football,” said Kelly. “When I got the original call from my agent, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to work with him.”

Kelly was with the Norwich academy for two years before signing for Everton in March 2012 but rejoined the Canaries in 2013, before being released in 2015.

His first season with Vale proved largely successful, scoring three goals in 31 games, including the club’s goal of the season. However, he didn’t find the net this season and 12 of his 21 appearances came from the bench as Vale finished 21st in League One.

“I’m left footed, I have speed and I want to create and make things happen”, Kelly added, speaking to Grimsby’s website. “I want to get the ball and make things happen. I’ve scored a few goals, I can play in the number 10 role behind the striker as well and get shots off and try help the team.”

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