Fresh start for Norwich City’s old boy network

Former Norwich City defender Michael Nelson is on trial at League Two new boys Barnet. Picture by Al

Former Norwich City defender Michael Nelson is on trial at League Two new boys Barnet. Picture by Alex Broadway/Focus Images) - Credit: Alex Broadway/Focus Images

Former Norwich City defender Michael Nelson is trying to impress League Two new boys Barnet to earn another crack at the Football League.

The veteran centre-back had a memorable stint at Cambridge United last season, which included a high profile FA Cup duel against Manchester United that saw Richard Money's squad take the Red Devils to an Old Trafford replay.

The 35-year-old was not offered a fresh deal at the Abbey Stadium but is currently on trial with Martin Allen's Conference champions as he looks to prolong a 14-year professional career.

Nelson was a key part of the Norwich squad that earned promotion from League One in 2010 during a two-year stint and the big defender has been earmarked as a possible replacement for another ex-City product David Stephens. The 23-year-old was unable to thrash out a new deal with Barnet, but Allen insists there are no hard feelings after his key role in the Bees' title success.

'Dave has been a tremendous player for us and I have really enjoyed working with him,' said Allen, on the defender who made one senior appearance for Norwich. 'He will always have a special place back here at Barnet and also for me. He was one of the key players in taking us back into the Football League and I am sure that Dave has a bright future and career ahead of him. It has been an absolute pleasure to work with him on and off the field. It is a disappointment to lose him but we have to move on. Knowing that the negotiations were ongoing and nothing had been settled, I have invited Michael Nelson to train with us through pre-season with a view to looking at him for a contract.'

• Nelson's one-time Norwich team mate David Fox has turned down the chance of a return to League One Colchester. Fox was unable to agree terms with the Us after spearheading their last-day survival, but Colchester boss Tony Humes does not expect Manchester-based Fox to return to East Anglia.

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'I don't think David will be coming back down,' said Humes. 'We wanted to keep him but he was probably looking for a bit more than we were prepared to offer and it had to be right for him. I think he'd like to play closer to home and unfortunately, both parties were unable to agree.

'It was a big thing for David to move down and play for us, last season. He had a bad injury in our game against Gillingham towards the end of the season and he went through the pain barrier for us. It's a shame that we weren't able to agree something with him, but that's football and we wish David well.'

The 31-year-old made 62 league appearances for the Canaries.