‘We always hoped he would make it’- Todd Cantwell’s family beaming with pride
- Credit: Archant
From an early age, Dereham's Todd Cantwell had always dreamed of becoming a professional footballer and for his family, it is all they had ever wanted to see him do.
And it took just 14 minutes for Cantwell to make an impact on his league debut for Norwich City on Wednesday, showing a wonderful burst of pace to blitz past his opponent and steal the ball before setting up striker Teemu Pukki for City's first goal in a 2-1 win.
Cantwell's uncle Kevin Owen, from Fakenham, is beaming with pride at seeing his nephew impress for the club and said: 'As a family, we are very proud of what Todd has achieved. He has learned how to enjoy success, including his England call up a few years ago and promotion with Fortuna Sittard in Holland last year while on loan.
'We always hoped that he was going to make it. There's been times where he has had knock-backs but he has never moved his thoughts away from being a footballer.
'He didn't know what else he would have done. He has always been totally focused on becoming a professional footballer and he has always tried to better himself and learn from his peers.'
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As a boy, Cantwell played for Dereham Town Youth and attended Northgate High School, winning the Norfolk Cup in years 7 and 8.
Northgate High School's head of PE Richard Phillis said: 'He worked so hard for the team and contributed above and beyond.
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'He was confident and committed and could turn a game on its head with his unbelievable skill and talent.'
Mr Owen also said that his nephew's ability had always been clear from an early age.
He added: 'When he played for the Dereham U8 and U9 in the same season he won every trophy on offer. The next year, a new rule was introduced so that only one trophy could be won by each player.'
'Our family are proud supporters of Todd and Norwich City FC and have spent many hours watching him develop over the years.
'We are looking forward to seeing more of Todd on the pitch for the first team and we believe, as a family, the best is yet to come.'