WATCH: The video that proves just why such a prodigious young midfielder is starring at City
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City fans see the results every week – but there is a video that underlines the journey of this Championship season's star midfielder. In the latest edition of The PinkUn Magazine, MICHAEL BAILEY toasts the blossoming talent that is JAMES MADDISON.
The wind is up and the floodlights are beaming on a cool March night back in 2004.
'Everybody stop!' cries the under-7 team coach, ending his drill suddenly and sending all his young players back to the touchline with their partners – while making sure one lad has a ball at his feet.
That lad's dad is filming, as most proud fathers would, and you can hear his little 'oh dear' at the thought of what's now in store for his son. After all, he'd only started joining in a few weeks ago.
With the full attention of his team-mates and the parents, the boy is sent to complete the drill on his own.
'Everybody watch,' the coach bellows – and everyone does. 'That was excellent. Give him a round of applause, and take a bow.'
Jogging back and beaming, the little boy – wrapped in cap, gloves and tracksuit – gives away a little bit of his character by making sure he takes that big bow.
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The laughs that follow light up the night.
That is just the opening scene of a video that runs to 10 minutes precisely; a video that for anyone who loves watching football, is almost impossible not to see through to its end.
There are no prizes for guessing its subject: James Maddison – the one-man showman with a ball at his feet and a goal in his sights.
There are delicious free-kicks into top corners, among a wonderful collection of shots flying past the outstretched arms of various goalkeepers and making the net bulge behind them.
But we're not talking here about footage from the Madejski or Riverside Stadiums. Nor Carrow Road, Portman Road, Griffin Park, Ashton Gate or as has proven the case this season, the rest of the Championship.
This is Coventry – the club and the city – where for more than a decade Maddison learned what he could do and what he could do with it.
It is 10 years of work and commitment from the young man, his family – the video is lovingly crafted by James' dad Gary – plus his teams' coaches and volunteers, distilled into 600 seconds.
It is only a brief window into his upbringing, of course. Yet for every one of his highlights in a Norwich City shirt, there is footage of a young Maddison doing it before and then doing it again.
You can even tell it's the same boy – which says as much about the style and special talent City's number 23 has been given, has worked so hard on and even now, continues to hone.
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