Hatfield footballer Elliott signed up by Norwich City Academy

PUBLISHED: 12:46 17 January 2009 | UPDATED: 22:08 26 October 2009

University of Hertfordshire Football Development Centre coach Laird Budge, Wendy Johnson, Elliott Johnson and Norwich City recruitment officer Paul Lowe

University of Hertfordshire Football Development Centre coach Laird Budge, Wendy Johnson, Elliott Johnson and Norwich City recruitment officer Paul Lowe

ANOTHER player from the University of Hertfordshire s Football Development Centre has signed for Norwich City. Hatfield-based Elliott Johnson is the most recent recruit to the Canaries Academy following his achievements at the University of Herts Footba

ANOTHER player from the University of Hertfordshire's Football Development Centre has signed for Norwich City.

Hatfield-based Elliott Johnson is the most recent recruit to the Canaries' Academy following his achievements at the University of Herts' Football Development Centre (UHFDC).

Fourteen-year-old Nicholas Breakspear School pupil Elliott has attended the UHFDC for three years and is the eighth player to have been signed since the highly successful partnership between the Herts Sports Village and Norwich City was established in 2003.

Elliott's father, David Johnson, commented on his son's accomplishment: "We are extremely grateful for the level of coaching and support that the University of Hertfordshire Football Development Centre has given Elliott."

The UHFDC enables talented young players to continue playing for their local club but enhances their development through high level skills coaching in sessions held at the Herts Sports Village in Hatfield.

Those who progress have the opportunity to be considered for academy places with the potential for future professional contracts.

The UHFDC recognises that players develop and mature at different ages and it is not necessarily beneficial or practical to join an academy at an early age.

Elliott, captain of the Herts U15 county side, joins the Norfolk club's academy and will continue training with UHFDC based on the de Havilland Campus.

Laird Budge, coach of UHFDC, expressed his joy.

"We are delighted that Elliott has been offered an Academy position with Norwich," said Laird.

"His attitude, determination and desire have been paramount in achieving this opportunity.

"Like our previous boys, we hope he can follow in their footsteps and achieve the Youth Training Scheme Scholarship and even professional contracts.

"It is an exciting time for Elliott and we will continue to support him in his development and welfare."

The Football Development Centre has become a recognised flagship initiative for the university's football in the community project.

The scheme focuses on identifying talented juniors with an emphasis on skills, delivers coaching locally and helps to prepare the boys for expectations at Academy level, plus provides impartial advice regarding options for the future. For further information, please visit www.hertssportsvillage.co.uk

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