Fresh start for Norwich City’s old boy network
- 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.