From Blades to glory! How training at Sheffield United inspired ‘not normal’ Clipstone keeper Sam Ogden to raise his game.
“One-hundred per cent. I’m not normal,” Sam Ogden replied with a laugh.
The Clipstone number one had just been asked whether he subscribed to the school of thought that all goalkeepers need to be a little bit mad.
“I’ve just always loved saving shots,” he continued. “A lot of lads like scoring goals, but I always wanted to be the one stopping them.
“I was always the first to volunteer to go in goal. I’ve always just loved diving around in the mud.”
While most young footballers dream of scoring goals, Ogden always enjoyed denying his opponents that glory, something which is working to the Cobras’ advantage this season.
After playing reserve and under 21s football with Matlock Town, Staveley Miners Welfare and Teversal, Odgen joined Clipstone in the summer, topping the club’s appearance list so far this campaign having kept five shut outs from 28 run outs.
Although it may have been a self-confessed tricky start to life at the Lido Ground, the 20-year-old stopper knows exactly what he wants his team to take from this campaign.
“It wasn’t the best start. I was with a new team and only played a few games with them pre-season,” Ogden said.
“Looking at how we started and where we are now, I think we need to push for a top-eight finish and achieve FA Cup fixtures for next season. That’s my ultimate aim.”
While the short-term ambition may be FA Cup football with the Cobras next season, the goalkeeper’s long-term goal is to play as high up the footballing pyramid as possible.
Ogden was on the books of home-town club Chesterfield from under 13 to under 16 level, but it was with Sheffield United’s development set-up that he truly found his calling.
During his second year with the Blades, Ogden earned the chance to train with the youth team and a handful of pros, including Louis Reed, Samir Carruthers, Jose Baxter and David Brooks, now with Premier League Bournemouth.
“It showed me the levels you need to reach and the standards you need to be at as well,” he continued.
“I learned what I had to do to achieve that myself, and that’s stayed with me.