Martin will have no fear of champions
CHRIS LAKEY Chris Martin made a dramatic introduction to the word of FA Cup football in midweek - but Canaries boss Peter Grant will be keeping a watchful eye on his 18-year-old rising star.
Chris Martin made a dramatic introduction to the word of FA Cup football in midweek - but Canaries boss Peter Grant will be keeping a watchful eye on his 18-year-old rising star.
Two brief appearances as a sub were the first glimpses most fans had of the Beccles youngster, but it was his introduction in the second half against Blackpool which swung the tie in City's favour.
An hour later, Martin had hit the woodwork, had a goal disallowed and then lived every schoolboy's dream by scoring the winning goal.
A few media interviews later, a good night's sleep - and it was back to studying for the Academy student, who spent Wednesday taking his FA Level Two coaching certificate at Colney under the watchful eye of education officer Darren Bloodworth.
Martin's Cup debut answered a few more questions - but some will take longer.
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“How does he handle that? Does he move on from there? Or does he think he has made it?” asked Grant.
“We have got to make sure he keeps working as hard as he has done in the period I have been here and keep giving him his opportunities.”
What was clear is that Martin is not in awe of professional football - or Chelsea.
“I have no qualms about going to Stamford Bridge and playing the kid - he has that calmness about him and probably arrogance that you need if you want to be a top player,” said Grant.
Martin caught Grant's eye soon over he arrived at Norwich in mid-October.
“He was 17 when I put him around about the first team squad,” explained Grant. “I have been watching him since I came here in October - I had never heard of him before.
“I looked at him, saw him in the reserve team, saw him in the youth team and I just think he has got something, a natural instinct.
“I think what all good players have as well, he has a slight arrogance to his play, he thinks he is a good player, which is always important, and he gets himself into the right areas of the pitch.
“The other evening he got a goal chopped off which should have been a goal, he hit the post and he scored a goal, so it is not a bad start for him.
“Once he scores 25 goals a season then he can say he has arrived, but going to Chelsea and playing against Chelsea won't phase him.”
Now Grant hopes Martin can become that rarity in the world of Norwich City in recent years - an Academy product whose makes good.
“It's great for the Academy here when you bring one of your own through,” he said. “I was here with the likes of Craig Bellamy and Chris Llewellyn and Darren Eadie before that.
“The changes in the system caused Norwich a big problem so when you have a local boy coming through that is tremendous and hopefully we can nurture a few more of them.”