First professional deals for young City quartet - and extensions for U23 players
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
American defender Jonathan Tomkinson is among a quartet of academy youngsters Norwich City have rewarded with their first professional deals and striker Shae Hutchinson is among a trio of under-23s to sign a contract extension.
Tall central defender Tomkinson, 18, joined the Canaries last summer and impressed during the FA Youth Cup to make the step up to the under-23 squad prior to academy seasons being cancelled in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Texan has previously been called up by the USA at U17 level and has signed a deal to keep him with City until 2022. He recently revealed that he had been on trial at Ipswich before Norwich made their move.
Joining him are three other players from this season’s U18 squad, signing contracts until the end of the 2020-21 campaign. They are defender Ethen Vaughan, Irish forward Josh Giurgi and midfielder Zach Dronfield, who captained the U18s in the FA Youth Cup this season.
The U18s beat Newcastle 3-2 in the third round at Carrow Road thanks to Josh Martin’s hat-trick, who has since progressed to the first team, but lost 2-0 at home to Manchester United in the fourth round in front of over 3,000 spectators in January.
The academy journey also continues for Iceland U19 international midfielder Isak Thorvaldsson, who signed an extension to keep him with the club until 2022.
The 19-year-old had his first taste of loan action this season after joining Fleetwood Town in January but only made two brief appearances in League One as a substitute.
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Signing one-year deals are striker Hutchinson and Scottish goalkeeper Jon McCracken, keeping them with the club until the end of the 2020-21 season.
Hutchinson, 19, has made headlines on and off the pitch during the past year - due to health challenges which have left him in need of a second kidney transplant.
The youngster, who has Alport syndrome, had however managed four goals during the nine matches he was able to play this season. That included putting City’s development squad ahead against the first team of Oxford United in the EFL Trophy group stages in September, only for the League One side to hit back and snatch a 2-1 win with two late goals.
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McCracken, 20, was signed from Hamilton Academical in 2016 and was a regular for City’s U23s during 2018-19, also training with the first team at times, including the warm weather training camp in Florida.
However, he was not involved at all this season and reports last summer suggested he had been training with Burnley. With a host of other clubs said to be interested, his time with Norwich looked to be over, but now the youngster looks to be back in the academy mix.