Ex-academy boss confident former Luton prospects will shine for Canaries
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
The progress of Jamal Lewis came as no surprise to former Norwich City academy manager Gregg Broughton, who thinks the Canaries have another player of similar potential on their hands.
Lewis is hoping to make a delayed start to pre-season tonight against former club Luton Town, after a muscle strain and illness ruled him out of the three friendly games in Germany last week.
The 20-year-old Northern Ireland international left-back joined City in 2014 having left Luton to focus on his prospects as a national-level 800-metre runner a year earlier.
'It wasn't really a surprise,' said Broughton, who was with Luton's academy for six years before joining Norwich as head of academy recruitment in 2012.
'When I was at Luton there were two players in one age group that I felt would really have a good career in the game at the highest level, which was Jay Dasilva, who is at Chelsea still, and Jamal Lewis.
'They used to push each other really hard in every single training session and behind that there are players who are still at Luton now, like James Justin, who they turned down a bid for from Forest last summer, and Frankie Musonda.
'So you had a very talented age group and for me to see Jamal break through wasn't really a surprise because I always thought he had the potential to do so.'
Lewis made 24 appearances after coming into Daniel Farke's team last December, with his athletics roots immediately obvious.
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Broughton continued: 'There were two things which always stood out during his younger years and they were his attitude and his resilience, they were already outstanding. But his athletic ability, his ability to keep running, his aerobic capacity, was always outstanding in his younger years.'
Another City youngster hoping to feature against his former club at Kenilworth Road (7.45pm) is right-back Max Aarons, 18, who joined from Luton two years ago and signed a new long-term contract this summer.
'I think Max has got the potential to play in the Championship and the Premier League,' added Broughton, who now works as academy manager at Norwegian club Bodo Glimt.
'He has similar attributes to Jamal, really good aerobic capacity, great attitude, always wanted to train hard and work really hard and those were things that make him stand out.'