Jaden Bevan hopes to follow Shrewsbury Town idol Joe Hart after signing first deal

Goalkeeper Jaden Bevan hopes to follow in the footsteps of idol Joe Hart after penning his first professional Shrewsbury contract.

Shrewsbury-born goalkeeper Joe Hart, who went on to star for Manchester City and England, left, and Town youngster Jaden Bevan, who idoloses his fellow hometown shot-stopper (AMA)
Shrewsbury-born goalkeeper Joe Hart, who went on to star for Manchester City and England, left, and Town youngster Jaden Bevan, who idoloses his fellow hometown shot-stopper (AMA)

The 18-year-old Town fan was rewarded for his recent progress with a senior deal which will see him continue with Steve Cotterill's first team next season.

Bevan joined Town's youth set-up at under-14s and initially played among the age category below as he had not experienced academy football before.

But he impressed enough to be awarded a scholarship aged 16 and in recent months has trained with Cotterill's side, under the guidance of former Premier League goalkeeper and Town coach Brian Jensen.

Bevan's goalkeeping hero is Shrewsbury-born former England international and two-time Manchester City top flight champion Hart, with whom he shares the family neighbourhood of Bowbrook and attended the same school, Meole Brace Secondary School.

Like 75-cap England man Hart, who is now at Tottenham, Bevan also represented the Shropshire county side. He joined Shrewsbury after missing out on trial at Wolves.

The teenager, who stands at 6ft 4ins, enjoyed League One matchday experience for his hometown club last season, where he was a substitute on several occasions, behind fellow Shropshire goalkeeper Harry Burgyone while No.1 Matija Sarkic was on international duty or injured.

Bevan already sampled a brief tasted of senior football on loan at non-league Haughmond in the 2019/20 campaign, where he played a handful of games.

And the youngster feels he will be best served experiencing more men's football next season, while continuing his development in first-team training at Sundorne Castle with Burgoyne and Cameron Gregory as well as the new goalkeeper Cotterill brings in this summer.

He said on next season: "Realistically going out on a men's loan to get some minutes and experience more of men's football. Everyone wants to get their debut, so hopefully that will come."

Former Coleham Primary School pupil Bevan added: "This is obviously what I wanted. It's my team I've grown up watching since I was born.

"It's everything I wanted. All the hard work has come to this, but I've just got to keep up the hard work to get more opportunities. I'm buzzing.

"For every player that (the first team) is where you want to be at a young age, you develop more training with better players."It's a faster tempo and the shots are harder!

"Having the opportunity to be on the bench and around H (Burgoyne) and Mati (Sarkic) has properly brought me on as a player.

"I think I've matured more being up here than training with the under-18s."

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