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Glory of 2013 FA Youth Cup squad helps City U18s prepare for Derby clash

Cameron King, back left, with his Norwich City U18 team-mates and coach Neil Adams after winning the FA Youth Cup in 2013.  Picture: Denise Bradley

Cameron King, back left, with his Norwich City U18 team-mates and coach Neil Adams after winning the FA Youth Cup in 2013. Picture: Denise Bradley

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The FA Youth Cup glory of 2013 still looms large for Norwich City’s academy players and can still play a large part in motivating the club’s current crop of under-18s.

Norwich City U18s coach David Wright, right. 
Picture by Matthew Usher/Focus Images Norwich City U18s coach David Wright, right. Picture by Matthew Usher/Focus Images

The young Canaries face Derby County in the fourth round at Carrow Road tonight (7pm kick-off), having beaten Barnsley 4-1 at home in the third round in December.

With the likes of the Murphy twins, Carlton Morris, Harry Toffolo and Cameron McGeehan all having gone on to make it as professionals from Neil Adams’ squad of five years ago, that success speaks for itself.

“We haven’t spoken about it at all really,” City’s U18s head coach David Wright said. “We’ve got a lot of pictures of it up around the training ground so they’re reminded of it every day about how well that team did and how many from that team have gone on to play professional football, and not just for this club.

“So we just concentrate on our process and making sure that the players are in the best possible shape to go into this game and perform how we want them to play.”

MORE: City U18s expect ‘really tough’ FA Youth Cup battle against Derby at Carrow Road

The competition has suited the Canaries well in recent years, reaching the fifth round last season and the quarter-finals in 2016.

“I think it’s very important for the boys in terms of development,” Wright said of the Youth Cup. “They play at stadiums under floodlights, so that’s a totally different experience altogether, we end up playing teams who are not in our league, Barnsley and Derby are teams that we don’t play in our league so that’s different again, northern teams sometimes have different styles of play.

“And then you add the pressure of the Youth Cup, you put all that in the mix, and I think it’s an excellent experience.”

MORE: Incredible comeback sees Norwich City U18s smash Barnsley 4-1 in FA Youth Cup

He added: “If they’re going to go and play for our first team then they’re going to play in front of 20 to 30,000 people, so as much as we can expose them to the stadium and playing under the lights, different kinds of pressures and different teams and systems, the better it is for their individual development.”

Tickets are £3, call 0844 826 1902, visit canaries.co.uk or go to one the club’s ticket offices to purchase

• Follow Canaries correspondent David Freezer on Facebook @DavidFreezer1 or on Twitter @davefreezer

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Opinion: It’s been a very eventful few days for Norwich City, and it all started with that brilliant 1-0 win at Ashton Gate. This win was thanks to another wonderful James Maddison goal and one hell of a save by Angus Gunn, one his old man I’m sure would have been proud to make. Sadly Norwich went out of the FA Cup at the third round stage for the fourth consecutive season, but gave a magnificent account of themselves and pushed Chelsea all the way – but it wasn’t to be as they were knocked out in the cruellest way, on penalties. The win against Bristol City means the club have won nearly twice as many away games as they have done at Carrow Road, Norwich are now unbeaten in their last four league games while conceding just one goal in those four games. Saturday gives City an opportunity to win back-to-back league games for the first time at Carrow Road this season, which is quite astounding considering we’re now in mid-January. I guess it just goes to show how they’ve struggled to break teams down and how inconsistent they have been on their own patch. Chris Wilder brings his out-of-sorts Sheffield United down to Carrow Road – I’m sure he’ll get a nice warm welcome from the Norwich faithful after some of the remarks he made after Norwich’s very impressive win at Bramall Lane in a bad-tempered game earlier in the season when the Blades we’re flying in the league, something they aren’t quite doing at this moment in time, having won just one of their last 10 Championship games. I think tomorrow gives the lads a real chance of closing the gap even more on the teams in those play-off positions. I scored a few goals against Sheffield United in my career, especially when I played at Bramall Lane – a brace for Leicester springs to mind. I scored a couple for Norwich against them at Carrow Road and looking back on my 96 goals for the Canaries, one of those was one of the most important that I scored for the club. The first of those two City goals came in a thrilling game when we found ourselves 2-0 with just 24 minutes gone, but we made the boos and the jeers turn to cheers with goals from Phil Mulryne, Tony Cottee (his one and only for Norwich), Chris Llewelyn and yours truly seeing us make a tremendous comeback to win the game 4-2. The other goal I was talking about came in our Championship-winning season on January 31 and, as I said, it’s right up there with some of the most important goals I scored for the club. It was a top-of-the-table clash as both us and Sheffield United had had a very good first half to the season and were fighting it up at the top of the league. It was a very close game with not many clear-cut chances until a ball broke to me in the 59th minute. It came to me perfectly, about 12 yards from goal and without breaking my stride I smashed it past the helpless Paddy Kenny and Carrow Road erupted. It was a very important win for us and as a forward there’s no better result than winning the game 1-0 with you getting the winner. I’d like to take this opportunity to wish both Russell Martin and Cameron Jerome all the very best at their new clubs. Both have been magnificent servants to the club and have been ultimate professionals while they’ve represented Norwich City and have always given everything when they’ve played. Both have taken harsh criticism in the last two or three seasons and at times been made scapegoats, but one thing is for sure, they’ve never hidden and taken everything on the chin and got on with things. Let’s hope that whoever comes in to replace Russ and Cameron will show the same level of commitment to Norwich City over the next few years.

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