Norwich City First Team Goalkeeping Coach Ed Wootten was full of praise for young ‘keeper Aston Oxborough, who signed a new two-and-a-half-year contract on Wednesday.
Commenting on the 21-year-old’s season so far on loan at Wealdstone, Wootten has been pleased with what he’s seen.
“He’s done very well at Wealdstone and I’ve been very pleased with him,” he said. “I’ve been to watch him a few times and every time he has played very well.
“The loan wasn’t particularly glamorous for him, going down to Wealdstone which has a typical non-league ground which isn’t particularly welcoming. He adjusted to those circumstances successfully.
“He’s looked above the level there and done well in that challenge. Now, it’s about trying to go to a higher level, hopefully into the Football League, which he’s more than capable of next season, and see where we go from there.
“They had a nice run in the FA Cup and were unlucky not to go further in that. They’re top of the National League South and he’s been a big part of that.
“He had injury setbacks earlier in the season so that was another challenge for him, being out for a period of time, but he came back and looked healthy, so I’m excited to see what he can do next season.”
Away from Wealdstone, Oxborough has spent his time training with the Norwich City first-team squad at Lotus Training Centre.
“He trains with us day in, day out, so he’s getting the best of both worlds – playing football regularly, which is really important for his development – but also training with Premier League players. It puts him in a strong position for next season,” Wootten said.
“He’s now physically more developed and accustomed to the first team environment. He’s played a lot of games, so he’s got a lot going for him at the moment. It’s just a case now of a higher-level club coming in for him and us getting him out there and seeing what he can do.
“I’m more than confident that he can go and be a success in that environment as well.”
Norwich City’s coaching staff pride themselves on the progression of young talent breaking through to the first team, ala Ben Godfrey, Max Aarons, Jamal Lewis, Todd Cantwell and so on.
“It’s important for young players to know there’s a pathway for them,” Wootten noted. “If you’re at a club where you see only one player in the last ten years who has come through, that doesn’t do much for your inspiration to progress and push on.
“He’s got it right in front of his own eyes. He can see young players are given a chance, so the ball’s in his court. We’ve given him the opportunity and platform to go and play. It’s down to him now to test himself at a really good level.
“He’s progressing each day, week and month, so we’re pleased with where he’s at.”