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David Stephens

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Norwich Career: 2006-2010 (Under-16s then Academy then Professional) (1 appearance)
Current Club:
Date of Birth: 08/10/1991 (Welwyn Garden City) 
Nationality: Wales

Biography

Midfielder David Stephens won the Player of the Torunament award when Norwich City's Under-16 squad defeated Hungarian side Ferencevaros 1-0 to win the University of Ulster Under-16 Umbro Foyle Cup at the end of July 2006. The young Canaries had also played South East Soccer Academy from Carlow, Glentoran, NECSL and Dundalk Schools

In the autumn of 2006, David embarked on a partnership between the Canaries and the University of Hertfordshire. He leaves lessons behind at Stanborough School in Welwyn one day a week to train with the under-18s squad at Norwich City football club. The youngster completes the rest of his weekly training programme two nights a week with other youngsters at the football development centre set up at the university in Hatfield two years ago to nurture local footballers aged between eight and 14 who have the potential to make it professionally.

David’s talent was spotted by the centre’s coach Laird Budge and the head of sports development at the university Bryn Clark, when the youngster came for a trial two years ago. Laird said: "David’s development over the last two years has been excellent. He has all the attributes to give himself an outstanding chance of reaching his goals and making it as a full-time professional footballer."

As part of the partnership young players selected by Norwich scouts can be invited to attend the university football development centre while coaches at the development centre can recommend any outstanding players to the Norfolk-based club. The arrangement between the centre and the club means that David only has to travel once a week the 120-mile round trip to Norwich for training, fulfilling the rest of his training programme at the centre which is based at Hertfordshire Sports Village on the university’s de Havilland campus, Hatfield Business Park.

In September 2007, David was called up to the Wales Under-17 squad, making his debut in a 2-1 win over Belgium where he started the game but was substituted due to a slight injury. The second game against the Belgians saw David on the bench but he came on after 60 minutes and scored the first goal of the game with a volley from just inside the area - Wales went on to win 2-1.

David was awarded his first professional contract with Norwich at the end of June 2009. He made his Norwich debut as a second half substitute in the 1-0 Johnstone's Paints Trophy clash at Gillingham on 6th October 2009

David was loaned to Chris Sutton's Lincoln City on 19th March 2010 for the remainder of the 2009/10 season. He made 3 appearances for Lincoln. On 21st May 2010, a number of sources linked Stephens with a return to Sincil Bank with Chris Sutton rumoured to be wanting to make the move permanent

On 5th July 2010. Stephens signed for Scottish side Hibs on a three year deal for an undisclosed fee. he said "I'm still learning my trade, but Hibernian has a track record of promoting young players into the first team. I'm confident that when I do get an opportunity I will seize my chance. I'm excited to be here and especially so given that the opening Europa League match is only a few weeks away. It is a big move for me and I've been really impressed with the club and with Edinburgh. It seems like a great place to live and I just want to achieve all my goals at Hibernian."

Easter Road manager John Hughes said: "David is a player with tremendous potential. He already has a good physical presence and appears much more mature than his age would suggest. I've been impressed with what I've seen from him so far and I'm sure he will have a part to play at first-team level over the course of the season ahead."

He scored on his first start for Hibs, a 4-0 win over Dunfermline in a pre-season friendly on 10th July 2010

Stephens won his first Welsh under-21 cap on 10th August 2010 in a 1-1 away to Malta.

Stephens returned to Hertfordshire and joined Barnet on 31st August 2012 on a free transfer, making his debut the following day against Rochdale. He had made 29 appearances for Hibs. Stephens and Barnet were relegated to the Conference on 28th April 2013.

Barnet returned to the Football League on 25th April 2015 winning the Conference title, with Stephens making 43 appearances that season. Stephens left Barnet at the end of June 2015 after being able to agree a new deal with the Bees.


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