PROFILE: Academy keeper Barden thrust into first team spotlight
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
He could well be on the verge of a first team debut but Norwich City fans know very little about young goalkeeper Daniel Barden.
The youngster has been named in Daniel Farke’s starting XI for today’s second friendly against Bundesliga Two side Darmstadt in Germany, after Tim Krul played in the first, a 3-2 win for City.
Signed in January 2019, the Wales Under-19 international signed a new long-term contract in March of this year, after playing regularly for Bury Town at step four of the non-league pyramid, prior to the season being abandoned.
Now the 19-year-old is in line for a start at Luton Town in the League Cup, due to the unusual situation of first round ties being played at the same time as international fixtures, ruling Krul and Michael McGovern out of contention.
“I think Norwich is the best club for me, everything from training to the games is just what I need,” Barden said, speaking to City’s official website as he signed a deal until 2022 with the option for a further year.
“Bury has been massive for me. I think the loan has worked really well, getting me the experiences I need in men’s football has been good.
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“Bury’s feedback to myself and Norwich has been so educating, I’ve just really enjoyed it here. Exposure to men’s football for me is huge.”
The youngster signed scholarship terms with Arsenal in 2017 but joined City after a trial and made nine appearances for the under-18s during the second half of 2018-19, including a 3-0 loss at Preston in the FA Youth Cup fourth round. The previous year he’d been on the bench for both legs of the final, as Arsenal were beaten 7-1 on aggregate by Chelsea.
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His loan stint in Bury St Edmunds followed, making 26 appearances last season, with Town sat fifth in Bostik Isthmian League Division One North when the season was brought to a grinding halt in March - three places above Dereham Town.
He has been capped three times at U19 level by Wales so far, all during last season, and has been working closely with Krul, McGovern and goalkeeper coach Ed Wootten during pre-season.
With Archie Mair on Scotland U21 duty and on loan at King’s Lynn Town, the next option in the academy ranks is Jon McCracken, who signed a new one-year deal this year after recovering from a back injury which kept him out of all of last season.