Ex Arsenal and now Norwich City goalkeeper Daniel Barden set to play for Bury Town in friendly at Newmarket Town tonight
A former Arsenal and current Norwich City goalkeeper is set to play for Bury Town in tonight’s friendly at Newmarket Town (7.45pm), ahead of completing a season-long loan deal, we can exclusively reveal.
Daniel Barden is the player Bury have lined up to replace the departed Luis Tibbles as they target promotion from the Isthmian League North Division, which will now carry new sponsor BetVictor’s name.
The 18-year-old joined the Canaries from the Gunners in January this year, having seen his chances limited at the north London club.
A deal to bring Barden to the Denny Bros Stadium was first alluded to in the Free Press on June 28, but has been held up while waiting for paperwork to be completed.
Manager Ben Chenery, who has departed AFC Sudbury teenage left-back Ross Crane among his trialists, feels Barden can be a big plus for his side in the upcoming campaign.
“Norwich are really keen on him and have high hopes for him,” he said.
“As a goalkeeper you need to play and with the teams they have available for him at the minute: the first team and the under-23s, his opportunities are going to be limited.
“He has got all the qualities to be successful going forward and senior football is only going to aid his development.
“We are really pleased to have him and he is going to be a real addition to what we are doing.”
Barden, who made a handful of appearances for Arsenal Under-18s, was a substitute for both legs of their 2017/18 FA Youth Cup final defeat against Chelsea.
After signing for Norwich in January, following a trial with the Canaries, he made his competitive debut as they were knocked out of the FA Youth Cup with a 3-0 defeat against Preston North End.
The Blues began their hectic summer friendly schedule with a 1-0 defeat at lower-league Debenham LC on Saturday with an experimental side featuring a number of trialists, before recording a 3-2 win at Lakenhath on Tuesday.
Left-sided player Crane played in Saturday’s match after leaving AFC Sudbury, where he was mid-way through a two-year scholarship at their academy, and had recently turned down the chance to move to a League Two club.
Crane, who is understood to turn 17 later this month, was one of the academy stars to break into Morsley’s first team last season, keeping experienced former Needham Market player Coakley out of the side at the back end of the season as he made 14 appearances.
He went on to play a key role in Danny Laws’ under-18s side winning another county cup and Thurlow Nunn League Youth Championship double, before shining as an attacking left-sided player on the academy’s USA tour. He scored the golden goal in the final against Downton LSVC as they won the Albion Las Vegas Memorial Day Cup and ended as the club’s top scorer in the tournament with four goals.
Chenery said: “Ross Crane left Sudbury and his name was mentioned to us.
“He has come down and been training with us and done very well. He also played on Saturday.
“He is a young lad with massive potential.”
He added: “We are pleased to have a player of his quality looking to progress his football here and we are taking a close look at him.”
Crane’s departure from Sudbury left their manager Mark Morsley baffled though.
He said: “I am clearly disappointed because he is a good footballer and we gave him a chance last year.
“He turned down better offers to stay with us because of the career pathway at Sudbury.
“It is a shame as he is a good lad. I am still scratching my head because I do not know why he has done it.”
Bury are set to ramp up their pre-season preparations with the visit of National League North new-boys King’s Lynn Town on Tuesday (7.45pm) (not Saturday as previously listed by us) before visiting now lower-league Mildenhall Town the following evening, on Wednesday (7.45pm).