Habergham focusing on life after Norwich City
Norwich City academy product Sam Habergham is in a daunting place this summer – on a list of more than 700 footballers looking for a club.
For some it is by design. For 19-year-old full-back Habergham, released by the Canaries at the end of his first professional deal this summer, it is a reality to be faced.
'It is crazy how many players are on that list, and how many big names – people like Jay Bothroyd, big players out of contract,' said the defender, who first joined City as an eight-year-old. 'But you've got to think to yourself that you are going to get somewhere and that you are going to get that chance.
'That is what everyone is hoping, that they are going to get that chance at some level – wherever that may be.
'Obviously Jay Bothroyd is going to be playing in the Premier League, whereas other people are going to be looking for something different – but that's the levels these players are at.
'I've had a really good grounding and training at Norwich and now it's time for me to go and get games really, try and play every week and show people what I can do.'
Almost half of the players on the Professional Footballers Association list are under-21: a legion of young starlets who will either be lucky enough to get another chance in the Football League, have to work their way back into the professional game via some treacherous non-league battlefields – or turn their sights elsewhere.
- 1 Norfolk deli owner suffers severe spinal injuries in Ibiza diving accident
- 2 Revealed: Where dangerous parasite has been reported in Norfolk
- 3 Possible foot and mouth disease case investigated at pig farm
- 4 Care home which has sat empty for four years to be revived by new owners
- 5 Driver died in crash with tractor after misjudging corner on rural road
- 6 7 dogs looking for new homes in Norfolk
- 7 Family sue Wetherspoon after man falls to death in city pub
- 8 Train evacuated after hitting horse on Norwich to Diss line
- 9 Highways bosses reveal when A47 dualling work will start
- 10 Traffic delays after car plunges into underpass in Yarmouth
Habergham has options and is hopeful – although a speculated move to Lincoln City, relegated to the Blue Square Premier last season, may not be his eventual destination.
'People keep telling me about Lincoln – it's news to me,' said Habergham, released along with Matt Gill and Jens Berthel Askou this summer.
'I played a game for their reserves last season so people have seen that and put two and two together. They went down last season so they're still sorting out where they are.
'I'm looking for somewhere and I've got a few options that I'm weighing up at the moment, and hopefully I'll be decided by the end of the month where I'm going to end up.
'I've got an offer but I'm just waiting to see a few other things because nothing happens over the summer. A lot of clubs just close down completely, so you've got to wait until around this time and then things starts to happen.
'For me, I just want to go somewhere where I can try and get myself in the first team, play week in week out, and I can show people what I can do. That's the sort of level I want to play at, whatever that might be, and hopefully I can build on it from there.'
Habergham missed out on making his City debut during his two years as a professional at Carrow Road but leaves with a grounding few can argue – and during Norwich's meteoric rise though English football.
He said: 'I had a lot of good times – there were a few bad times as well, it was hard for me with injuries; that was the hardest part. But altogether it's been great.
'The last two years as well, even though I haven't massively been involved, just the atmosphere around the place and the manager doing so well and everyone playing so well, that's the main thing and that's why we have done so well.
'They did it all right. I had a meeting with the gaffer and he had a good chat with me and said if there was anything he could do to help he will do, so that's always positive.
'I'm fit at the moment, so it's looking good. Hopefully I can stay that way and get a good season under my belt – that's what I'm looking for.'