Final game of season for reserves

CHRIS LAKEY Norwich City's second string finish their season today with a long trip to Southampton - not knowing what the future holds.

CHRIS LAKEY

Norwich City's second string finish their season today with a long trip to Southampton - not knowing what the future holds.

Keith Webb's team have pitted their wits at the very best that Premiership clubs can throw at them in a season in which he has been forced to juggle his often meagre resources.

But next season it's a whole new ball game - the Premiership have moved the goalposts preventing Football League clubs from competing in the Premiership Reserve League from next season.

Instead of preparing to face Chelsea and Arsenal, Webb now faces the prospect of Football Combination football and the likes of Stevenage and Barnet.

“Who we will play and how the Championship teams moving out will be absorbed hasn't been decided yet,” said Webb. “But obviously we would liked to have been competing against the better teams because that helps the development of young players coming through.”

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Webb's team are destined to finish bottom of the league after a season in which he has felt the knock-on effect of a busy first team treatment room. On one occasions - the game at Ipswich - a combination of first team injuries and an FA Youth Cup tie meant he had to field half a dozen players from Easton College.

“That's the nature of reserve team football and something we have simply had to deal with,” he said.

The plus side is seeing the likes of Rossi Jarvis and Michael Spillane develop their talent sufficiently to earn themselves place sin Nigel Worthington's teams.

Webb won't know his full squad for the trip south until this morning, but confirmed yesterday that Jarvis would be involved, having returned from England U18 duty. Spillane made his home debut against QPR eight days ago, but didn't appear for the second half because of a groin injury and hasn't played since. Whether he travels or not depends on how he has recovered - and whether or not he is wanted for the final game of the season, against Wolves on Sunday.