Exciting night for talented Norwich City youngsters as Villarreal are beaten at Carrow Road
- Credit: Richard Calver
Staff at Colney may have to bring some of Norwich City's rising stars back down to earth this morning, after a hugely encouraging night for the club's academy.
City's under-21s beat their age group rivals from Spanish side Villarreal thanks to a spectacular Louis Ramsay strike in front of more than 3,500 spectators at Carrow Road last night.
That strike sealed a 1-0 win in the Premier League International Cup – despite fielding a team with an average age of just 18.
'It was probably the youngest we've put out for under-21s football and I think that shows the quality that's coming through in the academy,' said Canaries U21s coach Dmitri Halajko. 'The 21s is a good group, we've got that depth, we've got 18, 17 and 16-year-olds who can step up. Maybe not week in, week out but when they're called upon at this level.
'When they're good enough for this level at that age, it bodes well for the future, so I think that shows the strength of the academy and the depth.'
Among the promising young talent on show was 15-year-old winger Glenn Middleton, who won a penalty, which 16-year-old striker Benny Ashley-Seal saw well saved. Scotland U17 international Middleton is working with legendary Canaries wide-man Darren Huckerby to develop his talent.
'Glenn's tied down with us on a long-term contract, we think he's got a good future ahead of him,' Halajko added cautiously. 'It was his debut at under-21 football and I thought he showed, as a 15-year-old, that he could handle that.
'I don't think there's many players in the country that can handle playing 21s football (at his age) and make the impact that he did. So we're happy with him and he'll be happy with himself but it's important that we look after him.'