Norwich City snap up Luton Town youth team player
- Credit: Archant
Goalkeeper Tyler Reading hasd signed a two-year scholarship with the Canaries
Tyler Reading is looking forward to what should be a big summer, writes Damion Roberts.
The teenager, who turns 16 in May, is packing his bags to move to Norfolk as he becomes a full-time football player at the academy of Premier League side Norwich City.
It’s a move that will see Tyler, a goalkeeper, move out of his parents’ house in Hitchin and will take him away from his friends.
Yet it’s a decision that many young footballers have to make if they wish to make it in adult football at a professional club.
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The Canaries snapped up Tyler last month from Luton Town – “The head of Luton [Gregg Broughton] now works for Norwich and he asked a few scouts to come and watch me, and they liked what they saw and signed me,” Tyler told the Comet this week.
Currently a pupil at Hitchin Boys’ School and a former pupil of primary school William Ransom, who he says really helped him, Tyler has already been travelling to Norwich twice per week since joining the club.
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Yet, as his dad Paul says, he’s an unassuming sort.
“He’s so modest,” Paul said. “He didn’t even tell his friends that he had been signed up.”
William Ransom were important in Tyler’s development, his father says.
“You know, he left there five or six years ago now, and they have a photo of him in the foyer,” Paul said.
“They’ve also asked him to go back and talk to the kids about what he’s done.”
Tyler began as a youth player at Luton Town, signing for the now Conference side when he was seven-years-old.
“I just went to goalkeeper training in a park one day and they asked me if I wanted to join,” he says.
“I was originally an outfield player when I was younger at a school club, playing centre-mid, and we used to rotate in goal and I went in goal and I made a few saves and the coach asked me to play there so I did.”
In 2009 the young goalkeeper signed a deal with the Hatters until 2018. It meant stability for Tyler, and also a fee for his services should another team, such as Norwich, come in for him.
City were a team, as it happens, that Tyler had played against twice before, once keeping a clean sheet in a 7-0 drubbing of his opponents.
The Canaries, though, were not the only team in for the teenager.
“There was a lot of interest in him,” his father says.
“A few London clubs were keen, and have approached us, but Norwich came in, and it’s a Premier Division club, and he signed for them.
“They’ve given him a scholarship for a couple of years, and he’s excited about it.”
Although just 15, the former Hatter was in the Luton U18 side before his move and now plays for the equivalent City age-group.
At 5ft 9in he still has some more to grow, but the early signs in his games for his new club are promising.
He has already featured against a Tottenham youth team as well as sides from Middlesbrough and Southend United, and he hopes that there is more to come.
“The people there, at Norwich, they’re nice people,” Tyler said. “I’m enjoying it.
“I like playing football and can’t wait to play every day.
“I’m playing two age groups up, the U18 team, because they thought I could handle it.
“I’ve played about five or six games and I’ve kept two clean sheets and I’ve also made two penalty saves.”
There is a long way to go before the Premier League beckons, of course, but Tyler remains hopeful.
“I want to try to make it to the first team,” he says.
“That’s the aim.”