Aylsham’s Sam Blair has been named Young Norfolk Sportsman of the Year, in the inaugural annual Young Norfolk Sports Academy Awards.
The trophy is presented to YNSA athletes who have showcased excellence in their sport, recognising performance but also commitment, dedication and passion.
This award caps an impressive season for the 16-year-old Norwich City goalkeeper, which saw him make his debut in the Youth FA Cup, play U16s and U18s football and travel several times with the U23 squad. He was rewarded with a two-year scholarship at the premier league club, which commences on July 1st on completion of his GCSEs.
Sam said “I’d like to thank the YNSA for this award. I have really enjoyed meeting and working alongside talented athletes from across Norfolk in so many different sports. It’s very helpful to learn from them and the experts the YNSA put in front of us, on topics ranging from fitness and training regimes, nutrition, recovery, coping with pressure and lots of other important topics that will prepare us for full-time sport. I’m very grateful to my coaches at Norwich City and my school for pushing me every day and making me a better athlete. I’m really excited about the next couple of years and will work hard to try and secure a professional contract.”
Sam, who at 16 already stands 6ft 2ins tall, follows in the bootsteps of an impressive list of Norfolk-born Norwich City academy shot stoppers – with Angus Gunn, Jed Steer, Aston Oxborough, Remi Matthews and Declan Rudd all plying their trade in the Championship and Premier League. Another City goalkeeper alumnus, former England international Rob Green, hung up his boots at the end of last season.