Norwich City have signed winger Josh Coley on a one-year deal with the option of a further year, with the youngster set to feature for the Under-23s this season.
Coley has spent the last three weeks training with Matt Gill’s Development Squad and was in Germany as part of City’s recent pre-season tour. He impressed in the victories over Paderborn and Borussia Dortmund and has subsequently been handed his first professional contract after years playing part-time in non-league.
Upon signing on the dotted line, Coley said: “I’m absolutely buzzing. I can’t believe it’s actually happened, to be honest.
“When I got called in [for a meeting] I was a little bit nervous and I thought: ‘This could be the end of my trial.’ But the meeting went well and I’m just so happy to be a Norwich City player.
“Everyone has been so welcoming to me. Everything I need to work on, like my posture and form in the gym, I’ve already started to work on, despite not being here for that long.
“I’m excited to see what happens in the next six months. I’m joining a big club with a big stadium and big number of fans.
“I just need to work hard, work my way up and play lots of games for the Under-23s this season and they hopefully make that jump to the first-team.”
Coley spent last season on loan at Baldock Town from Hitchin Town and set the Spartans South Midlands League (Division One) alight, scoring a hatful of goals and assisting plenty for his teammates as well.
He was named the Baldock’s Young Player of the Season as he helped the club reach a cup final and clinch promotion to the next tier of the English football pyramid.
“I’d been bouncing around a few different clubs,” Coley continued. “Hitchin were my parent club and I had also been at Arlesey Town and Histon Town but I didn’t really play at either of those clubs.
“I was sent out to Baldock last season and was told my situation would be reviewed in December. I knew I needed to just smash it because my main aim was to get into Hitchin’s team.
“By December I had 11 goals and 14 assists and I thought I had the chance to break through but nothing came of it.
“I stayed at Baldock and had an amazing season and I have to thank the club because they have been great to me.
“As well as playing, I’ve been working for a local firm recently under one of the guys who plays for Hitchin. I was trying to learn a few trades as well so to go from that to now having a professional contract here is a huge change.
“I was working five days a week, doing the stuff that no one really wants to do, and now I’m playing football full-time. It’s a dream come true.”