Green for go is Norwich City’s blueprint for youth development

Ben Godfrey made his first team debut at Norwich City earlier this season.
Picture by Richard Blaxa

Ben Godfrey made his first team debut at Norwich City earlier this season. Picture by Richard Blaxall/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Richard Blaxall/Focus Images Ltd

Green for go. Alex Neil has revealed his formula for nurturing Norwich City's best young talent.

Icelandic youth international Agúst Hlynsson was the latest young gun attracted to Carrow Road last week, after the teenager became the Canaries' first January window signing.

Neil enticed the likes of Ben Godfrey, James Maddison and Sergi Canos to Norfolk after forging a reputation at Hamilton Academical by developing the likes of James McCarthy and James MacArthur, who both sealed big-money Premier League moves.

The Scot and City's academy coaches are working to the 'traffic light' method to nurture the next generation.

'It is something we have spoken about, in terms of what we describe as 'green' players,' he said. 'We have red, amber and green and the green coded players would be the ones we deem are good enough to come through and play in our first team. The task of our academy, as it is with recruitment generally, is to find as many of those 'green' players so we have the best young players coming through.

'We would hope a player like Agúst is in that category. Red is the ones you deem are not quite sure they are going to make it and yellows are on the periphery and it comes down to how much they can improve which will determine whether they make it or not.'


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