Sam Proctor becomes the latest high-profile youth recruit – but this one is barely a teenager.
Words: Mark Jirobe | @VillaMarkPGH
As Aston Villa continue their amazing Premier League campaign, Mark Harrison isn’t becoming complacent about the future of the Midlands club.
Aston Villa have signed starlet goalkeeper Sam Proctor from Peterborough United for a fee of £100,000 – rising to £150,000 if Proctor signs a professional contract with the club. The 13-year-old joins for the maximum compensatory fee allowed – but would have been more if the Posh’s academy was considered an ‘Academy 2 Centre’.
Proctor has been with Peterborough since he was eight.
Early last month, Proctor was called up to the England Under-15 camp and has all the makings of a goalkeeper with the skills to look out for in the future.
Peterborough Academy director Kieran Scarff has previously waxed lyrical about the young ‘keeper, saying:
“Sam is a lovely lad, very grounded – I’m thrilled for him, his parents and the academy – it’s a very proud moment for his family.
“England have watched Sam a number of times. The (England) camp will be a great experience for him – he’s a fully focused young man with a great attitude and real commitment to what he’s doing.
“He works regularly with the older goalkeepers. He’s very well-grounded, lovely family, very supportive, really good attitude, very focused young man.”
Aston Villa’s academy has been steadily getting stronger since the club was purchased by Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens, and there are no signs of stopping that forward-thinking mentality. It seems the days of Aston Villa developing young players, only for them to leave for a low fee, or no fee at all, are long behind the club.