Martin and City are 'the perfect match'
DAVID CUFFLEY Players' union number two Mick McGuire today hailed Chris Martin and Norwich City as “the perfect match” after the 18-year-old striker signed a 3½-year contract with the club.
Players' union number two Mick McGuire today hailed Chris Martin and Norwich City as “the perfect match” after the 18-year-old striker signed a 3½-year contract with the club.
Martin has ended weeks of uncertainty by finally putting pen to paper on his first professional contract with the Canaries, keeping him at Carrow Road until 2010 - his reward for a flying start to his first-team career after scoring five times since his debut in January,
Former City captain McGuire, deputy chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, represented Beccles boy Martin in his negotiations with the club.
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He said: “I am delighted that Chris has signed his contract and committed himself to Norwich City. It ensures his future with the club, and the club have secured his services.
“The fact that it is over a three-year period gives him ample opportunity to develop his game in an environment that clearly suits him.
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“He's a local lad, so it's clear he and Norwich City are the perfect match.
“I'm very pleased with the contract he's now signed, which is for the rest of this season and three more years. There was never any doubt that Chris was looking to commit his future to the club.”
Martin, who has been at the club's academy since the age of 10, said he was glad to get the contract issue sorted out.
“It's obviously a relief,” he said. “It's been going on for a few weeks now, so it's good to get it out of the way and concentrate on my football now. It's happened very quickly from the end of January until now and I'm very pleased to get my first contract sorted.”
Martin said it was the faith shown in him by manager Peter Grant that convinced him to pledge his future to the club.
“I'm happy the manager has shown a lot of faith in me, but it's only the start of things,” he said. “I need to carry on working hard to remain in the team and keep playing.”
Grant said he was delighted Martin has committed his future to Norwich and paid tribute to the work done by the club's academy system in producing such a precocious talent.
He said: “Obviously we're delighted for everybody at the club and especially the academy that we've agreed a deal with Chris. It's fantastic to see an academy product - and a local boy at that - make it through the ranks into the first team and it's a testament to all the hard work the coaches in the academy have put in with Chris over the years.
“The club have worked hard on making this happen and offered Chris an excellent deal, and he has got his just rewards for all his hard work and commitment.”
Grant insisted it was only the start for Martin and threw down the gauntlet to the teenager to show he deserves a permanent place in his first team.
“The challenge for him now is to stay focused and to continue work on staying in the first team and developing his game. He knows the hard work for him starts right now,” said Grant.
“He's a great lad and he fully deserves this chance. What I've said to him is 'well done - now work on earning yourself that next contract' and that's the way it should be for him.”