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Emergence of Declan Rudd has boosted Norwich City’s academy hopes

Declan Rudd, left, has started Norwich Citys last eight Premier League matches. Picture: PAUL CHESTERTON

Declan Rudd, left, has started Norwich Citys last eight Premier League matches. Picture: PAUL CHESTERTON

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The emergence of Declan Rudd as a Premier League regular has provided a boost to Norwich City’s academy ambitions, chief executive David McNally has said.

The Diss-born 25-year-old has started City’s last eight league games, to become the first youth product to start regularly for the club since Chris Martin left in the summer of 2013.

“When I joined in 2009 – it just shows how far the club has come, not through me I hasten to add but because of what’s happened at the academy, with great work by great people there – we couldn’t get a player out on loan,” McNally said.

“I think we’ve had up to 14 or 15 players out on loan at any one point this season and other players that we’ve kept back because we’ve decided it was better for their development for them to play under-21s or to be involved with the first-team squad. So we’re now in a really strong position.”

With the likes of the Murphy twins, Harry Toffolo and Carlton Morris out on loan, City’s chief believes the club’s plans for a productive academy are starting to come to fruition.

“Declan Rudd has benefitted from terrific education through the academy, a great loan at Preston and now he’s our first-choice goalkeeper currently,” McNally added. “I’m sure John (Ruddy) will have something to say about that in the future but at the moment Declan has the gloves.

“So we’re thrilled because it is about the development of those players that will make it so much better for this football club in the future and that’s why we were delighted that we’ve been able to convince Ben Godfrey to come here (from York City) as opposed to one of the other 10 clubs he could have gone to.”

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