Norwich City’s young guns aim to fire against Liverpool’s Under-21s

09:07 17 December 2014

Norwich City

Norwich City's Jamar Loza will be on duty in Wednesday's development home game against Liverpool's Under-21s. Picture by Stefano Gnech/Focus Images Ltd

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Norwich’s professional development coach Paul Wilkinson is challenging City’s youngsters to grab their big chance to impress against Liverpool’s Under-21s on Wednesday at Carrow Road (kick-off 7pm).

Free entry details

Supporters can claim a free ticket for Wednesday’s game at Carrow Road through the club’s usual ticket outlets. Fans will be able to collect tickets prior to the game, but are advised to arrive early to avoid queues.

Harry Toffolo earned a loan move to League One promotion hopefuls Swindon after an eye-catching display in front of a pack of watching scouts in October’s 3-1 development win over Tottenham’s under-21s watched by more than 10,000 home fans.

City look well on course to top the 7,500 mark this evening, with free entry on offer to watch the club’s best emerging talent along with the likes of senior players Ryan Bennett and Mark Bunn who are on the comeback trail after injury.

Wilkinson insists the success of Toffolo and Jacob Murphy at Blackpool should act as a major incentive when City’s coaching staff sit down to discuss who is next in line for a loan switch.

“It always has to be a balancing act in terms of who goes out and who stays,” he said. “We don’t do things lightly, we discuss everything from top to bottom.

“The gaffer has the final say and it is important to put them in the right place. They go from here, where everything is nice and the facilities are excellent, and you go to some places and there is no proper training ground or that don’t have this or that and it’s a shock to the system for some. It can flip them the other way so you try to get the best of both worlds and put them somewhere where they are going to get an opportunity.

“Carlton (Morris) has just gone to York after being at Oxford, which is important for him to get him back out and get some football. Harry has done terrific at Swindon, Jak the same at Blackpool, and what it does is put in a stepping stone in their career for all those boys.”

Cameron McGeehan will be on Norwich duty against the Reds this evening but the midfielder made it clear during the build-up he is prepared for a fresh loan stint after a successful spell at Luton last season.

“I think that is all part of his development,” said Wilkinson. “He went out to Luton and that was a good experience and sometimes when you have been away and come back it takes a while to get back into the speed of it. He’ll be looking in January and if something comes along that is right for him and the club then we have to assess it.

“We have three our four out at the moment and they are all doing well at their respective clubs. We’ve had them all watched and it can only help stand them and us in good stead for the future.”

The former Sheffield Wednesday assistant boss has been impressed by City’s academy set-up since joining the club earlier this season.

“I am enjoying it. This is a great job, it is very rewarding and I know my role is to get players into the first team,” he said. “I work very closely with Gilly (Jerry Gill) and Murts (Graeme Murty) at the younger age groups and it’s all about finding that correct pathway. With Neil and Holty (Gary Holt) they have been on this side of the board and they know what is required and hopefully we can push a few more through.

“To be fair to the group we have at development level they have been great, they have a fantastic attitude. They have obviously known each other for four, five, six years and that always helps. It is good one or two have gone out on loan because that gives them all a positive signal that if they can’t get in here there is opportunities elsewhere. When lads go out and do well clubs will look at us and probably feel maybe we have one or two more who are ready to go out.”

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  • p.s. can understand u18 but over that age they should be playing competitive football on a weekly basis. The armed forces sees 18 year olds as full grown.

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    Wednesday, December 17, 2014

  • Nmtd, we may be in the top echelon but the final step into the first team seems lacking. The Murphy twins are a prime example, one sits on the bench and the other is on loan. And what has happened to the young scot, Mac G something or other, foregotten his name he's had such a big role, bet he wishes he'd stayed up north.

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    Wednesday, December 17, 2014

  • NCFC always DID try to use local young talent where they could find it and it is a great shame that in the last quarter-century that habit seemed to have been abandoned in favour of squandering £millions on dubious journeymen players , often from overseas ( it would seem that footballers are the same as warship designers - foreigners are always credited with with the ability to solve problems your own people find impossible ; - or in the case of footballers , are credited with ability you find it impossible to source at home ) I remember a City scout from the 70's saying on the Radio that he had a very easy job really , because all he did was tour the schools and make friends with the Sports Teachers , and then do a bit of coaching at the school , during which he'd ask the kids who the best footballers in the school were - they always knew , he said , and you simply then invited them for a trial . I know we spread the net far further afield nowadays , but a return to old ways might be good IF there is actually a path at all into the first team . All to often under previous managers , local talent never got a look-in . Perhaps because the procession of unintelligible Scots could not understand Darkest Naarfuk ?

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    Bring on Foggo

    Wednesday, December 17, 2014

  • We ARE in the top echelon of U18 and U21 development leagues thanks to the investment in EPPP, so it's archaic IMO to think reserve team football is the way forward. Our youngsters are getting regular game time v the very best in England albeit in a regional set up which is leading to improved quality and quantity of 'home grown' players. Perhaps a 2nd XI competing at Conference \ L2 level is an alternative to consider. Whilst NCFC have their highest status of EPPP we're in amongst the best ......... lose the status and that's a different matter to debate if and when it happens

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    Wednesday, December 17, 2014

  • The answer has to be the reintroduction of a reserve league. I think the Premiership and Championship should insist that all teams compete. The excuse that it cost too much money is no longer valid and it would give us a chance to see up and coming players as well as those recovering from injury. The fixtures could mirror the first team at home when the other is away,but be played one day later so that instant injuries should not be too big a problem.

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    Wednesday, December 17, 2014

  • I have to agree on that!I heard NA stating that if the players are good enough, despite his age they will be completing for a first team place!I hope Mike Phelan will influence NA to put these young guns in the side or else some club will eventually come along and sign them on a permanent deal.Bradley Johnson had a great review against Huddersfield but he's not been consistent..On the days when he's playing not so good let's see the young midfield players blooded in.Id still love to see the two Murphy twins work together on each wing instead of giving Redmond constant press over how good he is.I hope Mike Phelan will see this as Manchester United have a tradition of bringing in home grown players into the first team!

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    Wednesday, December 17, 2014

  • Lack of game time for potentially good players seems to be the missing factor in most clubs, There must be a way to solve this without putting players out on loan.

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    Wednesday, December 17, 2014

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

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