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Lifelong West Brom fan Sam Field signs professional contract

Sport | Published:

Academy midfielder and lifelong West Brom fan Sam Field has penned his first professional contract with the club.

The 18-year-old realised every young supporter's dream on the final day of last season when he made his first team debut against Liverpool at The Hawthorns.

He's now signed a one-year deal with a further 12-month option in the club's favour.

His deal comes 24 hours after fellow teenager Jonathan Leko signed a three-year contract.

Field was brought up as an Albion fan and has been playing for the Baggies since he was eight-years-old.

He was nearly let go at that time, but was kept on by a new coach who spotted his talent after a change in academy staff.

A late developer, the club allowed him to play with the age group a year younger than him before he had a growth spurt in order to nurture him properly.

He caught the eye of head coach Tony Pulis in training last season and travelled with the first team squad on several occasions towards the end of the campaign.

At the end of the season he was called up to the England Under-18 squad for their two-match tour of South Korea.

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"Eighteen months ago Sam went through a massive growth spurt and a lot of development.

"He was actually playing down an age group because he was having to manage that and all the difficulties that can arise.

"He was a late developer, and was always recognised as that by staff in the academy so it was a case of being patient with him.

"He's an example of different players' journeys and pathways and when they might just reach there.

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"Eighteen months ago he was a 17-year-old playing in the under-16s, 18 months later he's in the first team.

"He earned it as well, when the first team staff took him in they were thinking will he cope with it? Will he be ok? And within a few weeks the consensus was he's doing really well."

Tyler Roberts, 17, who also made his Premier League debut against Liverpool, was given his first professional deal in January.

These three players are following in the footsteps of striker Saido Berahino, another academy product who broke into the team.

"All of them are fantastic role models," said Harrison. "We did the induction with the new under-18 players at the weekend and we used Tyler, Jon, Sam and Saido as great examples.

"It's the most exciting time now to be at West Brom's academy because every club talks about a pathway into the first team.

"What's been shown this season just gone is there's a very clear pathway just now.

"Tony's been quoted on a number of occasions about the quality of the players coming through the academy.

"He's given some of those players opportunities. The key thing is Sam joined when he was eight, Tyler joined when he was eight and Jon joined when he was 11.

"These aren't players imported in like a number of other clubs do, these are players that have come through the academy system."

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