Omobamidele an inspiration as City youngster signs new deal

Norwich City academy defender Lewis Shipley

Lewis Shipley in FA Youth Cup action for Norwich City at Carrow Road - Credit: Norwich City FC

Norwich City have announced a new contract for a third young defensive prospect in the space of a week, with Lewis Shipley the latest to sign fresh terms.

The 18-year-old has featured at left-back and centre-back for the under-18s and under-23s this season, starting as the U23s lost 5-2 at Derby in the Premier League Cup on Monday but being forced off with an injury in just the eighth minute.

Shipley has been with City's youth set-up since the age of seven and is originally from the Wisbech area. He signed his first professional deal last December, which was due to expire in 2023, but has extended terms until 2025.

His new deal follows centre-backs Jonathan Tomkinson (2024), who was on the bench for the first team on Saturday, and Jaden Warner (2025) signing new contracts recently.

“It’s a real privilege,” the youngster said. “I’ve spent my whole life at this club, so for them to have the trust in me to give me another long contract, it means a lot to me and my family.

“To finally sign the contract with your boyhood club is what every kid dreams of, so for me to be able to have achieved that is massive for me.

“The coaches are brilliant. I’ve pretty much had the same coach (Greg Crane) the whole way through! That’s been massive for me, in terms of the family feel that you get at this club. There’s nowhere I’d rather be than here to be honest.”

Shipley played the full game as the U18s were knocked out of the FA Youth Cup at Carrow Road earlier this month, allowing a two-goal lead to slip in a 3-2 defeat to Stoke City.

It's been a difficult season so far for the Canaries' U18s, losing nine of their 10 games in the U18 Premier League and suffering some big defeats amid struggles with injury and Covid-19 absences.

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“We always get told there’s a bigger picture,” he said of on-pitch matters, speaking to City's official website. “Results aren’t everything at a young age.

"As lads, we want to win every week and we strive to do that, but we also see the bigger picture and know that this club is renowned for bringing great players through and we just want to follow in their footsteps.

“The fact that Andrew Omobamidele got through so quickly, in one year his whole career changed, that’s a real role model. You want to follow in his footsteps and hopefully achieve what he’s achieved.

“The intensity in the 23s is a lot better for me to challenge myself to get used to the next stage. It’s a slow introduction to men’s football, so it’s a real challenge but one I’m willing to enjoy and take on."

NCFC EXTRA: City youngster signs new deal