‘We needed Holty to do a job’ - Legendary Norwich City striker turning from poacher to game-keeper

Grant Holt played at the heart of Wroxham's defence in the FA Cup win over Arlesey. Picture: Tony Th

Grant Holt played at the heart of Wroxham's defence in the FA Cup win over Arlesey. Picture: Tony Thrussell - Credit: Tony Thrussell

As the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division campaign gets under way, Mark Armstrong speaks to Wroxham boss Jordan Southgate about his plans for Canaries legend

Grant Holt could line up at centre half again for Wroxham against Mildenhall. Picture: Tony Thrussel

Grant Holt could line up at centre half again for Wroxham against Mildenhall. Picture: Tony Thrussell - Credit: Tony Thrussell

He’s a legendary Norwich City goalscorer, but Grant Holt has always been willing to do a job for the greater good.

It’s no different in the autumn of his career at Wroxham where on Tuesday night the 39-year-old lined up alongside Tom Huckerby (son of Darren) at the heart of the Yachtsmen’s defence.

Holt masterminded a shut-out as well in the 5-0 win over Arlesey in the FA Cup extra preliminary round and ahead of the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division opener at Mildenhall on Saturday it seems it’s a role he may have to take up again.

“We lost a couple of our centre halves through injury in the friendly against King’s Lynn Reserves and we were a bit short,” said Wroxham boss Jordan Southgate. “Myself and Ads (Adam Drury, assistant manager) got our thinking caps on and settled on asking Holty to do a job.

Grant Holt in action for Wroxham in the FA Vase last season against AFC Bitton. Picture: Tony Thruss

Grant Holt in action for Wroxham in the FA Vase last season against AFC Bitton. Picture: Tony Thrussell - Credit: Tony Thrussell


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“We have always known that he can do it - he played there when he was 17 or 18. I gave him a call to tell him what we were planning and like the great team player he is he just said he’d do anything he can to help the squad.

“We might have one back but Holty is definitely an option at the weekend (at centre half).”

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Holt regularly featured for Wroxham last season, scoring 15 goals in 24 starts for the Yachtsmen and Southgate is hopeful of calling on his services more often in the upcoming campaign.

“He’s only missed one pre-season game for us so I think he might be able to be even more committed to us this season with how things are at the moment,” he added.

Wroxham boss Jordan Southgate wants silverware at Trafford Park this season. Picture: Tony Thrussell

Wroxham boss Jordan Southgate wants silverware at Trafford Park this season. Picture: Tony Thrussell - Credit: Tony Thrussell

The Canaries contingent has never been stronger at Trafford Park - Holt, Sutton (Ollie – keeper, son of Chris), Huckerby (Tom – defender, son of Darren), Drury, Lappin – names to bring a hint of nostalgia to even the most hardened Norwich fans can be called upon.

Southgate admits he feels fortunate to have such a close association with City and the experience of some of the players around him.

“I’m lucky to have some huge experience around me and we are always bouncing ideas off each other and trying to help some of the younger lads,” added Southgate. “I obviously work in the foundation and the club has always been a big part of my life. We’ve got a really good link, like when we went so far in the Vase last year they tweeted us to wish us luck. Hopefully that link can continue for a long time to come.”

Making it all the way to the quarter finals of the FA Vase the highlight of last season’s abbreviated campaign. Hopes are high of another challenge for promotion in the league and Southgate is keen for the Trafford Park trophy cabinet to be added to next spring.

Wroxham boss Jordan Southgate is proud of the club's links with Norwich City. Picture: Archant

Wroxham boss Jordan Southgate is proud of the club's links with Norwich City. Picture: Archant - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

“We want to win a trophy this season – that’s got to be the aim,” said Southgate. “Some clubs might be in a better position than us but I believe in this squad and I think we can do something really special this season.

“Pre-season has been tricky because we haven’t known when the season was going to start for a long period. You don’t want to peak your squad’s training too soon but we feel like we are in a good place.

“We have all stayed in contact with each other over Zoom and we were back training in small groups as soon as we could be.

“We got the lads to sign up early for the next season so we knew what squad we had to work with for the next season.

“I’m really happy with the squad we’ve got. We have not got a huge amount of money compared to other clubs but players know what we can provide here and that’s fantastic set-up with very good coaching.”

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