Norwood set for New Lawn extension

James Norwood is set to remain at the New Lawn Picture: Carl Hewlett

Eddie Oshodi has penned a deal to keep at FGR up to 2015 Picture: Carl Hewlett

First published in Sport Gazette Series: Photograph of the Author by , Sports editor

FOREST GREEN fans’ favourite James Norwood is moving closer to a New Lawn contract extension.

Boss David Hockaday is confident the in-form striker will follow former Watford defender Eddie Oshodi, 20, who penned a new two-and-a- half deal on Friday to remain with the title-chasing Nailsworth side until the end of 2014/15 season.

Norwood bagged his 11th goal of the season at Hyde on Saturday as his side posted back-to-back wins to remain fourth in the Blue Square Premier, four points behind leaders Grimsby Town but with a game in hand.

Norwood is certainly hot property with talk of interest from Swindon Town and Preston, but Hockaday insists no offers have been tabled.

He said: “We’ve had no offers for Nors (James Norwood) or any of our players and I think other managers know that everyone’s happy here and most are on long-term contracts.

“We’ delighted Eddie has signed. We've been talking to him for about 12 months about a contract extension.

“Eddie is a really driven and ambitious young player and with all that he has recognised this is the best place for him to be and he’s committed for another two-and-a-half years.

“He’s totally focused on helping us gain promotion and giving his all to Forest Green Rovers.

“We have a young, talented group of players that are committed to the future of this great club of ours."

Oshodi burst on to the scene at Forest Green in October 2011, forming a rock solid central defensive partnership with Jamie Turley.

A Watford youth team product, his impressive performances in the Rovers backline saw the strong defender receive a call-up to the England C squad for their international with Italy in February 2012 at Fleetwood Town’s Highbury Stadium.

He progressed through the ranks at Watford, making two senior league appearances with the first coming in a September 2009 Championship fixture against Coventry City and he also spent time on loan at Dagenham & Redbridge and the now defunct Rushden & Diamonds.

Hockaday snapped Oshodi up when he became available in the summer of 2011, having worked with him in the youth system at Watford.

He made his debut almost instantly on arrival at The New Lawn in a goalless draw with Fleetwood and has attracted interest from a host of Football League sides.

Oshodi has previously featured for both the England under 16 and under 17 squads and was part of the England under 17’s European Championship squad in 2009 that also included Arsenal and England star Jack Wilshere, Liverpool midfielder Jonjo Shelvey and Aston Villa first teamer Gary Gardener.

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