‘Let’s go and make it the best we can’ – Adams out to make City a loan-market leader
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Loans manager Neil Adams is orchestrating a quiet revolution at Norwich City – and his work is bearing real fruit.
There was scepticism around Adams' return to work following the end of his difficult spell as manager back at the start of 2015, alongside questions over how his new role would manifest itself once it begun.
But the answers are now there for all to see, after 12 months that included a string of successful loans for City's next generation – and some genuine excitement over what they could bring to the party when the players return for pre-season at the end of June.
'You try to be the best at whatever you do – make me a window cleaner and I'll try to be the best window cleaner there is,' smiled Adams.
'Something I've always prided myself on is whatever you're doing, you are doing.
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'Yes, you can look forward. You can have whatever ideas and pathways you want. But for the moment, you are doing this. And if you don't do this too great, you might not get to there or to do that.
'If we go back to when I got this, some people were thinking what sort of job is it? I knew and we knew what it was, because I wouldn't have accepted it or done it if I thought it was a case of, oh just let him go and do this. I could have seen what was happening.
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'So the objective for me now, if you're talking about loan players and the way to do it, is that Norwich City is the place to go and have a look at or watch how we do it. That's how it should be.
'That's how it will be with Daniel (Farke) and the first team; they want to be the best. Stuart Webber wants to be the best technical or sporting director, Billy Smith wants to be the best physio. Whatever.
'Ultimately and brutally, loans are value to the club. It's finance. And we are getting it now where if you speak to someone like (Shrewsbury Town manager) Paul Hurst, he might throw in Norwich City – because word is getting round that we are on top of this, we are having a right crack at it and we're doing it properly.
'Hopefully all the players would feel this is a bit different to how it was three or four years ago. So let's go and make it the best we can.'
Ben Godfrey's season on loan at League One Shrewsbury certainly works as a prime example of how City want to use the loan system going forward.
The 20-year-old midfielder has excelled during a campaign that will conclude with Sunday's play-off final against Rotherham United at Wembley.
That move was sanctioned by City head coach Farke as well as sporting director Webber – and for the man who arranged the possibility, the pair deserve a lot of credit for both its success and the player now set to return to the Canaries' first-team fold come pre-season.
'You've got to give Daniel and Stuart a lot of credit for Ben Godfrey because he's a classic case,' added Adams.
'He was probably ready for our squad about 12 months ago and the manager wants as big a pool of players to choose from as possible. You don't want to be down to the bare bones.
'So Daniel and Stuart could have quite easily decided to keep him here. Ben might have played a few games, been on the bench, also played for the Under-23s – and come the end of the season, where would he be at now?
'But they made a brave decision if you like, to say he's better off to go out and play 50 games for Shrewsbury – and he has improved immensely.
'He has taken people by surprise, put himself nationally against West Ham, the Checkatrade Trophy and when games have been live on TV.
'I think it's fantastic they said to get him out on loan, get him playing – and now I can go, here he is now. Have a look at him.'
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