City is best place for stars of tomorrow

CHRIS LAKEY Premiership clubs need not think twice before sending young players to Norwich City on loan, according to Canaries liaison Bryan Gunn.The City legend's search for new talent should bear fruit this summer as manager Peter Grant puts together a team of his own in readiness for the 2007-08 season.

CHRIS LAKEY

Premiership clubs need not think twice before sending young players to Norwich City on loan, according to Canaries liaison Bryan Gunn.

The City legend's search for new talent should bear fruit this summer as manager Peter Grant puts together a team of his own in readiness for the

2007-08 season. And Gunn believes Norfolk can provide a perfect home for budding Premiership talent.


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"You need the clubs to have the trust in you to look after their player," said Gunn.

"Most of them probably know the environment they are going to come into - great training facility, great

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set-up at Carrow Road, a fantastic crowd to play in front of, sell-out crowds every week - so for big clubs sending out good players it is an easy option really because they know they are going to continue their football education in a quality set-up."

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger trusted City enough to send David Bentley to the club in the Premiership season, and Gunn has now put feelers out among the top-flight managers, including his first boss, Sir Alex Ferguson, who has ex-City skipper Mike Phelan on his Old Trafford coaching team.

"I have known Sir Alex and Micky Phelan, those type of people, long enough to say that the players come down here get well looked after, and medically, and behind the scenes, the sports science - the whole set-up is here. It is a Premiership set-up without Premiership football, so hopefully with their help there might be an opportunity to benefit from that, so that is the plan."

Sir Alex was one of the first to call him after his appointment as club liaison was announced in February, and Gunn is hoping a relationship which goes back 30 years will put him at the head of the queue of those wanting to pick up Old Trafford talent.

"He called me during his preparations for United's game against Charlton and wished me all the best," said Gunn.

"I said I'd be on the phone a lot more trying to get some of his young lads. It won't be just me ringing Sir Alex Ferguson, but you'd hope that if it was you you'd have a good chance of getting a nice pick of what was available.

"We don't know what is available and we don't know what we need at the moment because we obviously have our eyes on some permanent transfers which, if they come around, you might be looking at different positions.

"Manchester United have to decide what they are going to be doing and we don't know what we actually end up with, and that process probably won't happen until the end of June, early July - but it is a phone call worth making."

Gunn is one arm of a contacts team that covers the country - and beyond.

"Jim Duffy has great contacts in Scotland and England and we will be utilising those," Gunn added.

"Peter himself has got an amazing contact list and Martin Hunter has all his English FA contacts as well - between us all, hopefully the backroom staff will have a finger on the pulse of what will be available, certainly in the loan market, when we need to address it."

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