Crow: Nigel may have done me a favour
CHRIS LAKEY It's a year since Danny Crow was surprisingly shown the exit door at Carrow Road, but his mood has changed from devastation to determination - to prove City boss Nigel Worthington wrong.
Canaries reject Danny Crow is aiming to fight his way back to the top - with the help of a pair of boxing gloves and a former teacher.
The 20-year-old could be forgiven for putting his feet up now the season has ended but, instead, has embarked on a grueling training schedule at a Norwich boxing gym under the watchful eye of trainer Graham Everett and pro boxer Jackson Williams - who used to teach him at the City of Norwich College.
It's a year since Crow was surprisingly shown the exit door at Carrow Road, but his mood has changed from devastation to determination - to prove City boss Nigel Worthington wrong.
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His first season away from his natural home - he had been at City since he was eight years old and is a lifelong fan of the club - has been a successful one: he finished top scorer at League Two Peterborough United with 17 goals and was voted Player of the Season.
It also earned him some admiring glances from a number of clubs, with Premiership new boys Watford strongly linked, and Wolves and Sheffield United also apparently sniffing around.
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But League Two is a long way down the ladder, which is why Crow, who originates from Yarmouth, has taken to the squared circle this summer.
“I want to use boxing as a way of making sure I am really ready, mentally and physically, for the challenges that lay ahead next season,” he said.
“I now know how tough it is in the lower leagues and really feel that working out in a boxing gym will not only add to my fitness but help make me a much stronger player as well.
“It's all about becoming the best you can possibly be and I will do everything I can to prove that I was good enough to play for Norwich and indeed at the highest possible level. At the time I was devastated, but in hindsight I now feel that Nigel perhaps did me a favour.”
It was the drive that was fuelled by the taste of rejection that Crow wants to maintain in the rough and tumble of League Two - or higher.
“I want to get a bit stronger around my core and shoulders - in our league you're playing against big players and it's just a way to try and better myself an give myself a better opportunity.”
Crow's trips to the KickStop gym in Whiffler Road have certainly opened his eyes.
“It was very hard and very tiring,” he said. “I didn't realise it was that bad, but it's good for me and I will be here next week. They are very friendly - and they are all big lads.”
Norwich lightweight Williams was a familiar face but it didn't mean Crow would be treated any differently.
“I used to go to City of Norwich - when I was at Carrow Road we all had to go to college and Jackson was one of my teachers for a bit,” said Crow.
“But when I broke through in the first team I tended to miss college because there were more important things - playing for Norwich and keeping them in the Premiership, so I didn't finish off my course with him. But I know Jacko very well, he's a good lad and a very good boxer and he will teach me some things.”
Crow hopes it will be enough to earn him another shot at a Carrow Road onion bag.
“I have always wanted to come back and play at Norwich,” he said. “I'd like to come back and score, but I don't think I would celebrate in front of the fans - but it would be a nice feeling because I would like to show Nigel that he made a mistake by releasing me.”