Home Madison Forward Madison signs 19-year-old prospect at left back

Forward Madison signs 19-year-old prospect at left back

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Forward Madison has signed 19-year-old left back Heath Martin out of the invitation combine the club hosted last month.

Martin, who becomes this season’s youngest Flamingo, previously played for Atlanta United and DC United’s U-19 teams.

“It’s really exciting to sign my first pro contract,” Martin said in a statement. “It’s one of those things where you work hard for a really long time and then you get to celebrate the moment. But now I’m ready to get to work. The work’s just starting.”

Martin signs for the Flamingos after impressing at the club’s invite combine in February, where Head Coach Carl Craig said he stood out due to his confidence on the ball and defensive positioning off it.

“It didn’t matter that he’s a young lad, Heath was just being who he is, taking the game to the opponents and getting stuff done,” Craig said in a statement. “Heath’s somebody who could definitely attract interest from a higher level. This should be a great move for him in terms of growth and experience, but we also expect him to be important to us in battling for that championship.”

Martin is originally from Knoxville, Tenn., but started high school at IMG Academy, an athletic boarding school in Florida that has produced a number of U.S. National Team stars. From there, Martin moved to the Atlanta United academy in 2018 and the D.C. United academy in 2019.

After deciding to forgo college soccer to focus on his professional aspirations, Martin trained from home during much of the pandemic, chronicling his workouts on an Instagram page. Practice made perfect at Forward Madison’s combine, which Martin attended on a recommendation from FMFC assistant coach Neil Hlavaty’s former teammate, Brian Shriver.

“I felt like I left it all out on the field and showed all my qualities as a player,” Martin said. “I want to take the bar and raise it higher. That’s always been my mentality. I want to help us win as many games as possible.”