Forster's got the message as fans urge him to stay
Paddy DavittNorwich City fans could have a major part to play in keeping Newcastle's highly rated loan keeper Fraser Forster next season. A sell out Carrow Road home crowd pleaded with the 22-year-old stopper to 'stay at Norwich' one more year throughout City's title-clinching League One weekend win over Gillingham.Paddy Davitt
Norwich City fans could have a major part to play in keeping Newcastle's highly rated loan keeper Fraser Forster next season.
A sell out Carrow Road home crowd pleaded with the 22-year-old stopper to 'stay at Norwich' one more year throughout City's title-clinching League One weekend win over Gillingham. Forster recently hinted he would rather head out on loan again next season than sit on the bench at St James' behind first choice Steve Harper for the Magpies' Premier League return.
Canaries' chief Paul Lambert will face stiff competition for Forster's services during the close season but the keeper's father revealed yesterday that the City failthful's vocal message was clearly having the desired effect.
'He did ring us up after the game and said the fans had been singing, 'one more year, Fraser,' so he is aware how much they think of him,' said Dad, Brian. 'That is great to know and it has probably helped him so much. He has had a brilliant time down there - that is the word he used. It's really up in the air and it depends on Newcastle and what they feel is right but I know this season could not have gone much better for him.
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'We're based up in Newcastle so it's a five hour drive to come down and watch the games. We've been a couple of times and we'll be down for the Carlisle game when they are presented with the trophy.
'We watched the Charlton highlights on the Football League show and that seemed to go quite well - although it probably looked even better with the way it was put together. We've obviously seen the other side as well when games haven't gone to plan in his career.'
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Lambert hailed Forster as a 'world class' keeper in the making, following his heroics at The Valley which helped clinch promotion.
Forster senior insists his son can cope with such plaudits.
'He is a very laid back character and takes most things in his stride,' said Forster, a barrister in Newcastle. 'He has always been perhaps one of those who takes things as it comes so he won't take too much heed of what anyone might say or however much praise he gets.
'When Glenn Roeder was manager at Newcastle they got into the Uefa Cup and he was on the bench a number of times and the season before this one he was on the bench for about 30 games behind Shay Given. As a family we are not really football-oriented and we thought he was doing quite well to be selected on the bench but, of course, you realise that he needs to be playing games for his development and so on.
'It's great for us that he was picked up by the local team in the area. He played rugby originally but was selected for Newcastle schools and through that he went to Liverpool on trial but broke his foot so the trial didn't come to anything. He was then invited to Glasgow Rangers and after that Newcastle came in for him.'
Forster senior revealed his son was potentially hours from lining up against City this weekend for Bristol Rovers before Lambert swooped to make the youngster his first signing back in August.
The Hexham-born youngster had agreed a second month long loan stint in the west country until the Canaries' late approach.
'He was down at them for a month or so and Newcastle had agreed I think for him to go for another month,' said Forster senior. 'I had booked him on an EasyJet flight at 7am that morning when Newcastle rang up and said Norwich had come in. I think it came down to the financial side of things as well and they probably also felt he would gain more experience playing in front of a bigger crowd every other week.
'They told him not to catch the plane and get into a car and drive to Norwich. He'd had six weeks or so at Stockport the previous year where they had come up against Paul Lambert so he obviously remembered Fraser and I think he was quite taken with him.'