Young Canaries keeper called up by Ireland U21s

Norwich City V West Ham U18s FA Youth Cup. Goalkeeper Sam Blair. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Sam Blair in FA Youth Cup action for Norwich City at Carrow Road - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY

A disappointing afternoon for Norwich City goalkeeper Sam Blair has finished on a high, after being called up to the Republic of Ireland Under-21 squad.

The 18-year-old keeper is from Aylsham and has been involved in England training camps at junior levels previously but has been called up by the Ireland U21s ahead of a friendly in Wales on Friday (1pm).

Norwich City V West Ham U18s FA Youth Cup. Goalkeeper Sam Blair. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Goalkeeper Sam Blair couldn't prevent Norwich City U18s' heavy defeat to West Ham in the Youth Cup - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY

Blair qualifies for selection through his Irish grandmother and joins Canaries academy colleague Andrew Omobamidele in the U21 squad for the first time.

The youngster had little chance with the goals as West Ham romped to a 5-0 win at Carrow Road in the FA Youth Cup fourth round this afternoon, making a few good saves on a disappointing day for City's under-18s.

Yet news of his Ireland call at least provides a good end to a frustrating day for Blair, who was first involved in the Norwich academy at under-10 level and signed his first professional contract in January, agreeing a deal until 2023.

He wore the captain's armband during the defeat to the Hammers and has been first choice at under-18 level this season, providing cover in under-23 games throughout the campaign.

Friday's friendly in Wrexham could see another City keeper between the sticks at the other end as well, with Daniel Barden receiving his first Wales U21 call-up as well.

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