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Norwich City improving academy facilities as focus on youth continues

06:30 05 November 2015

Norwich City's academy director, Greg Broughton.  Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Norwich City's academy director, Greg Broughton. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

Work to improve the facilities of Norwich City’s training centre at Colney are being stepped up, as the Canaries continue to invest in their youth system.

City chairman Alan Bowkett recently said he feels the club must improve the facilities at Colney if top-level footballers are to be attracted to Norfolk.

Now academy manager Gregg Broughton has revealed that work to install a floodlit 3G pitch, to improve the bottom-half of the Colney pitches and to relay carpet in the indoor arena to meet FIFA standards are all in the pipeline.

“We’re very confident that we are operating well above the standards required to be in Category One and to be considered as one of the top academies nationwide,” Broughton said, as the club prepares for its coveted Category One status to be audited.

“The only aspect we have work to do is on some of the facilities at Colney, which we are working to bring up to standard over the course of the next six months ahead of the July deadline.”

The improvements come as City continue to try and build on the success of winning the FA Youth Cup in 2013, with several of the players from that team currently out on loan, including Josh and Jacob Murphy, Harry Toffolo and Carlton Morris.

Broughton added that another player from that successful team, wide player Reece Hall-Johnson, may also be heading out on loan after the 20-year-old recovered from a recent hamstring injury

“Reece has the athleticism and quality on the ball to make a real impact from full-back at senior level and there’s currently a concerted effort to put him in a position where he can show his ability in league football,” Broughton added, in his blog for City’s website.

“We believe everything experienced by the players away from the club on loan is a positive as they are able to learn from their journey.”

City’s Under-21s have been drawn away to Brighton in the last-32 of the U21 Premier League Cup and will play at the Amex Stadium next Thursday in a 7pm kick-off.

26 comments

  • The academy will only produce results if the manager is willing to give the youngsters a chance and sadly Alex is not.

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    Cyprus Canary

    Friday, November 6, 2015

  • It would be interesting to know how many players from our Academy have made it into the first team squad over the past five or ten years? And how many have generated cash for the club by being sold on and how much has that raised? The answers to both questions are surely crucial to the benefits or otherwise of an Academy. .

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    malaga flier

    Friday, November 6, 2015

  • Agree Kent, Toffolo could of had some friendly game time and league time under his belt but we chose to play players out of position and not give him a chance. Once Brady arrived and got settles he got the nod and rightly stayed at LB as he was excellent there. People saying we dont produce decent players through our multi million pound academy are not moaning, its just a simple fact.

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    Jimhow

    Thursday, November 5, 2015

  • I like dans veiled snipe at my first comment, but as I am a subscriber to the academy , and he is probably not, i do feel that my money is not coming to fruition the way I intended, hence my comment! If other clubs want good youngsters in their team, then let their supporters stump up the cash to fund their own set- ups!

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    JOROBIT

    Thursday, November 5, 2015

  • What is the point of having an Academy when hardly any of the players get selected for the 1st team or is it there purely for a cash injection to the club by selling some of the players. All other Premiership teams seem to introduce some players on a regular basis but Norwich dare not seem to take the chance and therefore the players go off and are successful at other clubs

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    kevin473

    Thursday, November 5, 2015

  • What is the point of having an Academy when hardly any of the players get selected for the 1st team or is it there purely for a cash injection to the club by selling some of the players. All other Premiership teams seem to introduce some players on a regular basis but Norwich dare not seem to take the chance and therefore the players go off and are successful at other clubs

    Report this comment

    kevin473

    Thursday, November 5, 2015

  • Wiv Budgie, your Southampton analogy is fair, but only up to a point. A hell of a lot of the players you are presumably referring to ( Bale, Walcott, Chambers, Lallana etc) first got blooded into their first team when they were in Lge One and The Champ. Which kind of ties in with my earlier point below. Since Saints have been back in the Prem, they've tended to do like us and bought in talent, such as Pelle, v Dijk, Forster et al.

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    Rick

    Thursday, November 5, 2015

  • Not the first time this topic has been on here. Last time i listed a number of Saints youngsters that had made it and been transferred for mega millions in the premier. Cant be bothered to repeat the list, but the arguement that had they been City youngsters would they have made it still stands. Particularly upon promotion Saints kept the kids in, whilst we ship them out on loan.

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    wivenhoebudgie

    Thursday, November 5, 2015

  • In fairness, I've absolutely no doubt that, had we not won the play off final last May , a lot of the youngsters spoken of here would be either in the Ist team Championship starting XI or on the bench at the very least. It's very difficult, without knowing all the facts behind the scenes re progression of players technicallystamina etc, to say whether they are possibilities for a PL place. On the face of it it does seem bizarre to have so many out on loan, but, as others have commented, without a reserve league these days the options to develop fringe players is limited.

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    Rick

    Thursday, November 5, 2015

  • Good to see the training facilities are being kept up to standard to attract and retain top plays. It's a shame that part of Category One status doesn't include young academy players getting regular first team football. It's not an achievement to do the development work for other clubs. .

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    Trevor

    Thursday, November 5, 2015

  • There was an excellent opportunity to have blooded Harry Toffolo during the first few games of the season when Olsson was recovering from his operation. Brady could have played in front of him and Toffolo might have made the position his own by now. That opportunity was missed and at least Toffolo is gaining plaudits playing for a struggling Championship team. Some interesting references to Southampton here and their policy of giving youth a chance - Gareth Bale was a regular at left back for them at the age of 17. Exceptional player, one might say but if he was at Norwich, he would probably be languishing in Division One now after several loan periods at the likes of Luton and Cambridge.

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    Kent Anglian

    Thursday, November 5, 2015

  • Pity they don't spend the money on the first teams defence. In all the time the Academy has been running how many players have made it big or even into the first team as a regular.

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    goldie

    Thursday, November 5, 2015

  • Some good comments here , but improving the facilities is ok but for what , the amount of good players I have seen coming out has been very encouraging but why aren't we playing them instead of loaning them out . Many many years ago Burnley were the envy of the league there youth programs was excellent , scouts from far and wide used to come and watch them play and many went on to be classy players in the old div 1 We should be using our talent , some may even be better than what we've got at present , give them a chance Sir Alex

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    iMac

    Thursday, November 5, 2015

  • A Fine City: Cruel but fair. Cruel but fair.

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    el dingo

    Thursday, November 5, 2015

  • A thoroughly pointless exercise when there is little effort to give them a game and then put mediocre pressure on the seniors, some I doubt even have to check to see if they are in the team......Mr Blobby.

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    A fine city

    Thursday, November 5, 2015

  • I must say that it is difficult to make the huge jump from academy to the premier, but for me one stand out player,who is good enough, and is still ignored is Declan Rudd ,he is in my opinion now better than ruddy.

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    bluelight

    Thursday, November 5, 2015

  • . . . . . aaah . . . . Keith O'Neill. My hero !

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    nevermindthedanger

    Thursday, November 5, 2015

  • Dan I largely agree with your sentiments but just feel it would be wonderful if we could get one or two through. Sadly, that seems a million miles away just now, although I continue with my Academy donation and live in hope. I really thought Harry Toffolo would crack it (and he still might), but I also felt the same about Ben Wyatt, and events have proved me wrong. Perhaps I'm naive but I have always hoped a couple of these lads would be OUR future like Eadie, Sutton and to a lesser extent Keith O'Neill.

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Thursday, November 5, 2015

  • At least you put down some constructive comments, Kent. I'm optimistic about our youth system. In an ideal world, our youngsters will break into the first team and save us millions in transfer fees. But if they move to a L1 or Championship club on loan then they're at least getting games. A permanent move would still generate income and would mean these lads have made a career for themselves, which is why they join our system. Just like any learning platform, you join with high aspirations, but if you can at least make a decent career out of it, great. In City youngsters case - that career doesn't have to be with us. Any career means it's another success for our youth system. As for breaking through, well I like our academy style of play, they've had recent success - but if Hooper, a Champions League striker, can't get a game in the PL, then unless used for cover it's unrealistic for the Murphy brothers to be regular first team players too.

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    Dan

    Thursday, November 5, 2015

  • I would be in favour of further investment in the Academy if it produced results - and by that of course I mean youngsters being brought into the first team set-up. I wonder how many from the Academy have actually broken through - or been given an opportunity to do so- and at what cost ? I do wonder if players like the Murphys and Toffolo were at Southampton whether they would have had better chances and prospects?

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    malaga flier

    Thursday, November 5, 2015

  • If Mr Bowkett has been reported accurately, how the blazing hell would a top class Academy attract top-level footballers to Norfolk? With the exception of Mbokani (loan) and Mulumbu, he and his colleagues failed to attract anyone of any note (sorry Matt Jarvis but you're another loan). If he means he wants to attract another generation of kids with no prospects of making it through to the First Team Squad, he is largely wasting their time and our money. Realism as much as cynicism I'm afraid.

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    el dingo

    Thursday, November 5, 2015

  • Apart from that Mr Bowkett, turn yourself into a fly and hang around a few walls in the Southampton Academy!

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    Lobbo

    Thursday, November 5, 2015

  • touché, 'Kent'.

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    Lobbo

    Thursday, November 5, 2015

  • Unfortunately, Dan, one can understand the scepticism. Millions have been spent on our Academy over the years, nurturing lads from a tender age but for what? Nothing would please me more than to see the Murphy twins harassing PL full backs, Cameron Morris giving Chris Smalling a hard time and Harry Toffolo rampaging up the wing from his left back position. I do not hold my breath - sadly, relegation to the Championship and a clear out will probably increase the likelihood of these guys getting a chance.

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    Kent Anglian

    Thursday, November 5, 2015

  • What a surprise. A negative comment.

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    Dan

    Thursday, November 5, 2015

  • Youth players coming through the ranks to play in city first eleven? As if!!

    Report this comment

    JOROBIT

    Thursday, November 5, 2015

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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