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Ed Wootten: Young keepers' new contracts are reward for their hard work

29 March 2021

Norwich City first team goalkeeping coach Ed Wootten says the new contracts given to Dan Barden and Archie Mair are a reward for the hard work they have shown over the last 12 months.

Both shot stoppers have signed new deals that will keep them at the club until 2024, with the option of a year’s extension as well. Wootten says the club has a very exciting group of goalkeepers with the senior player, Tim Krul, Michael McGovern and Orjan Nyland, training and working with the younger lads most days.

Speaking about Barden, Wootten said: “He has worked particularly hard over the last 12 months. He came into our daily routine just after the COVID-19 break [last season] and has been with the first team squad for a considerable time now.

"He has conducted himself in a really professional manner. Going into this season, he came on our pre-season tour to Germany and made a good impression. We had no worries playing him in the first cup game (against Luton). We had full faith that he would do well.

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“He has played four games for us now and got into the Wales Under-21s on the back of those performances. He looked very composed, with a few excellent saves, and got a clean sheet and a man of the match award [against Coventry in the FA Cup].

"So, the contract is a reward for his efforts. His progress has really accelerated. He hasn’t surprised me. We see day in, day out, what he can do, and he’s earned his appearances through his performances in training.”

Mair has not made his Norwich City first-team bow yet but was on the bench for the club last season in our Premier League match at home to Aston Villa and has spent this season performing regularly for King’s Lynn Town in the National League.

“We are very excited with Archie,” said Wootten. “He has worked very hard and has had a difficult season in the National League with the fixture congestion they have had, but dealt with it very well. It is a challenging level of football. The National League is very direct and physical, and he’s had to face different challenge and we are delighted with his progress.

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“We have been pleased with how he’s been looked after (at King’s Lynn). They’ve put a lot of trust in a young goalkeeper – some managers would be apprehensive about playing a young keeper, but he has played well throughout the season. He works with us on a daily basis, and it is healthy to have him here, and then he gets the rewards at the end of the week to play football.


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