Dream come true for Bradwell lad after signing Norwich City deal
- Credit: Archant
For many a youngster, it is the ultimate dream to be a professional footballer for the team you support.
For Finlay Barnes, that dream is one step closer to becoming a reality, after signing a scholarship deal with his beloved Norwich City.
The Bradwell lad has been on the books at the Canaries since the age of seven, but is now looking forward to the next step of his football career.
Finlay, who is also studying hard for his GCSEs at Lynn Grove Academy, says he was 'overwhelmed' when the offer came in.
He said: 'I honestly wasn't expecting it. It's an absolute dream come true for me. I've been a season ticket holder since I was six years old so I'm speechless.
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'My friends have all congratulated me and everybody is really pleased for me. All I can really do now is keep focussed, carrying on working hard, but this is a proud moment for me and my family.'
Alongside training and matches in the club's academy, Finlay is taking eight GCSEs, including English, maths, science, history and geography, but has got used to balancing school and football over the years.
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He said: 'It is a big workload but Norwich are brilliant with helping us keep on top of our schoolwork and are always keen to stress how important it is. Equally the school are really supportive as well.'
When he was originally spotted playing for Gorleston FC, Finlay was playing as a striker, however he has since developed into a midfielder and says his biggest inspiration is Wes Hoolahan.
Colin Watts, youth development officer for Norwich City, said: 'It has been a long journey for Fin going back to his U7 age group when I saw him playing for Gorleston. He is a culture left-footed midfield player with an eye for the 'special' pass.
'With hard work and dedication I have high hopes for seeing him develop into a top player for Norwich City.'
Parents Graham and Amanda say they could not be prouder of their son.
Mrs Barnes said: 'It was quite stressful waiting to find out because he has worked so hard for this, so it was a huge relief when we found out. I'm so proud.'
Mr Barnes added: 'We have travelled all over the place watching him and every boy dreams of becoming a footballer. Seeing your son achieve it is definitely the next best thing.'