Exciting times for new faces at Colney
Norwich City's latest batch of academy scholars have started work at Colney – hoping it marks the beginning of a route that could see them become Premier League stars.
Ten new faces have joined up with the second-year students – where manager Ricky Martin, coach Neil Adams and development officer Colin Watts will guide them through FA Premier Academy League and FA Youth Cup campaigns next season.
Defenders Harry Barker, Harry Toffolo and Kyle McFadden, midfielders Rian Carroll, Reece Hall-Johnson, Cameron McGeehan and Joe Peacock, as well as forwards Dominic St Louis, Jacob Murphy and Josh Murphy will all get their first taste of Under-18s football as City scholars on Saturday, August 20 when Middlesbrough visit Colney.
'The first years have got a very important year because for many it's their first year away from home and settling into full-time football,' said Martin.
'Now they are getting paid for the first time for something that was their hobby but is now their career, and let's hope that it is a long career for each and everyone of them.
'For the second years it's a case of them already having one year of it. They could probably remember this time last year but it's gone in a flash. They now know they have got a season to impress the manager.
'He probably won't be expecting them to get in his first team squad, but what he will be looking for is potential and as long as they are working hard and they show potential, we will give them every opportunity.'
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Motivation should not be a problem for the new intake – but if it is, there are a few Academy graduates around that will help.
Martin added: 'We've got local boys in, those from Cambridge and London, and then Kyle coming over from Ireland – for the new intake the world is going to change.
'They've been living under a roof with their parents, and they are now living away from home, moving into local accommodation and starting a new career.
'What a great, exciting time and just look at Colney – this is their work place, this is their environment. That is what inspires us and if you look at the likes of Korey Smith and Chris Martin, we have got evidence of players that can progress from this youth team into the first team.
'It wasn't so long ago that Chris, Korey and George Francomb, Josh Dawkin and Matt Ball were in this position. That is great motivation and inspiration as well, that they can follow in their footsteps and let's hope they can go even further.'
Second-year scholar Sam Kelly has been named head boy for next season.