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Video: West Brom surprise autistic teenage goalkeeper with first-team training session

By Matt Wilson | West Bromwich Albion | Published:

Albion have surprised a disabled goalkeeper with a special training session alongside the first-team shot-stoppers.

Adam Smith.

Adam Smith, 19, is the goalkeeper for The Albion Foundation’s pan-disability football team. He has autism and learning difficulties.

But when he turned up at the club’s Palm training ground to help drop off a parcel, he was grabbed by goalkeeping coach Neil Cutler.

Smith joined in with the goalkeepers’ training session, and received pointers from Albion No.1 Sam Johnstone and long-term Baggie Boaz Myhill.

“Is this actually happening to me?” asked Smith, in a video released by the club. “I’m absolutely shocked!

“It feels really special to be offered the opportunity.

“I don’t know what I’ve done right! I want to say thanks to the club and the goalkeeping coach Neil.

"The club means a lot [to me]. When I first came to the club aged 12 I was totally different, I was really low down and quite shy.

“As I’ve gone on, it’s built my confidence, personality-wise.”

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Smith was given the opportunity as part of the Albion Stars programme.

Albion Stars recognises Baggies who have gone above and beyond in their support of Albion, or who have been experiencing a tough time and so deserve an extra special surprise.

You can nominate an Albion Star by emailing stars@wbafc.co.uk with the details of who you’re putting forward and why.

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Meanwhile, Jay Rodriguez and Kieran Gibbs are valued as Albion’s best players on the new FIFA 19 console game, according to leaked images.

Rodriguez and Gibbs have both been given scores of 77.

Matt Phillips, Ahmed Hegazi and Craig Dawson are close behind with 76, while Dwight Gayle is ranked at 75.

Matt Wilson

By Matt Wilson
Football MMPJ - @mattwilson_star

Sports reporter at the Express & Star, who primarily covers West Bromwich Albion.

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