Farke pleased to see U23 starlet with ‘special bit of creativity’ sign new deal
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City have handed academy starlet Josh Martin a contract extension, after rapid progression saw him training with the first team ahead of the suspension of the season.
The 18-year-old has signed a deal until 2023 which puts him on par with fellow young prospects Adam Idah, Rocky Bushiri and Akin Famewo in the length of time they are committed to the Canaries.
The former Arsenal trainee was named on the bench by first team head coach Daniel Farke for the first time in January but didn’t make it onto the pitch during a 2-1 win at Burnley in the FA Cup fourth round.
That followed an impressive spell at youth levels, scoring a superb hat-trick for the U18s in a 3-2 win over Newcastle at Carrow Road in the FA Youth Cup, as well as three goals in five games for the U23s.
City boss Farke said of the new deal: “I am really happy that Josh has signed a new contract.
“He is full of potential. He has technical and dribbling skills, makes key passes and can provide many assists and score. He’s also a very brave player with that special bit of creativity that you can’t learn.
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“He has developed a lot during his time with us and it was no coincidence and not a gift that he was for already in the squad for our cup game at Burnley. Of course, he needs to develop and improve further on, but we will give him the time and are convinced that he can take the next steps with us.”
The tricky forward, who can play on either wing, also impressed in the EFL Trophy against senior opposition earlier in the season as City’s U23s narrowly lost 2-1 at Oxford United and won 2-1 at Crawley Town.
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Martin joined Norwich in March 2019 after a successful trial, having been on the books at Arsenal since he was eight years old, and caught the eye of some supporters when saying he models his attacking play on Portugal superstar Cristiano Ronaldo in an early interview.
However, after his Youth Cup success Martin also spoke about how City’s academy coaches had made it perfectly clear that there was no room for over-confidence if he wanted to make it at Norwich.
On his new deal, also speaking to the Canaries’ official website, Martin said: “It feels like almost a pressure has been taken off my shoulders. It shows the club want me for the future and I’m just grateful to be a part of the first-team.
“I’m excited, it feels really good achieving one of the things I wanted to do when I first joined Norwich. I actually over-achieved a bit from my first goal, as I originally wanted to get into the under-23s and earn a new contract there.
“To have hard work recognised with a contract makes me feel valued. It lets me know I’m doing something right. Working really hard, training at home alone, eating the right things all the time, the battles mentally, it just feels like I’m doing the right thing.
“It makes me want to keep doing these things when I see I’m going in the right direction, plus it’s even better when other people see that too.”
- You can watch Martin’s spectacular Youth Cup hat-trick in the video above