Harry Toffolo loyal to Norwich City cause
PUBLISHED: 16:34 29 April 2013 | UPDATED: 16:42 29 April 2013
Archant copyright 2012
Harry Toffolo will put his love for Chelsea firmly to one side to earn a precious FA Youth Cup winner’s medal.
Norwich’s versatile defender hails from a family of Blues’ supporters, but the 17-year-old insists there will be no divided loyalties ahead of tonight’s Carrow Road first leg.
“I am a Chelsea fan and have been since I was young but that if anything just gives me more of an incentive to want to go out on that pitch and beat them,” he said. “I have been a season ticket holder all my life so it is a chance for me to go out and show what I can do against a team that I have grown up loving.
“Norwich is in my heart and I want to perform for them. The whole family are Chelsea fans as well but there will be no divided loyalties. They will be supporting their son on the night.
“I’m absolutely buzzing and ready for it. I think the lads will relish the opportunity to play in front of 15,000 to 20,000 people. It’s not every day a 17 or 18 year old lad can say that. With the support of the Norwich fans I know we can get a result.”
Toffolo admits the reaction since Neil Adams’ squad prevailed against Nottingham Forest’s U18s in a thrilling Carrow Road penalty shoot out has been extra special.
“It has been phenomenal really. The whole club seems to have had a lift,” he said. “When you are getting the first team manager coming and speaking to you and the first team players were giving me some banter for trying to gee the crowd up. It has been really good.
“It feels like everyone at the club has come together and the fans have played their part. On behalf of the players we couldn’t have asked anymore. To play in front of 10,000 felt special but there might be 15,000 to 20,000 for the final. That is where you want to be playing every week. That is the dream.
“It definitely helps and you could see that in the semi-final. The roar when we were attacking was there, the roar when we went up for set pieces was there and even with 10 men you felt, ‘We can do this.’ It just kept the lads going and ticking over.”
Toffolo struck a nerveless first successful spot kick against Forest after the game finished 1-1 on aggregate, following on from his match-winning brace in an earlier round to sink Millwall.
“There is nothing like scoring a goal, especially for a left back or a centre back like me. It is a magnificent feeling,” he said. “I just want to try and keep that part of my game going and if I get a chance in the penalty box then it is down to me to see if I can put it in the back of the net. When I scored the two goals against Millwall I was buzzing for about two weeks. I think winning that game gave us a lot of belief. We always felt we had a strong team and we could get to the final and now we are there we have to look to win it.”