Norwich City’s young guns aim to fire in televised Tottenham test
- Credit: Richard Calver
Norwich City will unleash their young guns in Thursday's televised Premier League Under-21 development test against Tottenham at Carrow Road (7.45pm).
The Canaries' next generation turned on the style in last week's International Cup win over Spanish opponents Villarreal, and academy boss Gregg Broughton is urging the home support to play their part in front of the BT Sport cameras.
Norwich's 3-1 home win over Spurs in 2014 attracted a record national attendance at development level, and Broughton is appealing for that backing with free entry available for fans.
'Our club's support for the academy never ceases to amaze me,' said Broughton, who penned an open letter on the club's official site. 'The decision to make these games free of charge for our fans is envied by all of the other academies in the country and makes a huge difference to the matchday experience. Under-21 football sometimes gets criticised for not being realistic preparation for a young footballer to play in the Premier League, and with most club's playing their games in front of tiny crowds at non-league grounds that can be sometimes be fair.
'With our games being played at Carrow Road in front of a crowd that is bigger than many in League One and Two, it's a criticism that can't be made so easily. Managers and scouts from other clubs are often keener to take one of our young players knowing that they can cope with that pressure, which was the case with Harry Toffolo, who secured a great loan experience at Swindon following last season's Spurs game.'
Alex Neil can field three over-age outfield players under the competition rules. Toffolo, Elliott Bennett and Gary Hooper were all on duty in last season's impressive win, sealed by Cameron King's brace.
Tottenham's latest visit is likely to be extra-special for young full-back Louis Ramsay, who was part of the Spurs' academy, and was City's match-winner against the Spaniards last time out at Carrow Road.
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'When anyone faces their old club, they always want to prove something. If I could grab another goal, that would be brilliant,' Ramsay told the club's official site. 'I don't score that many. It was good to get a goal, especially in the circumstances with the game 0-0 and we needed a win. If I was at right-back, I wouldn't cut in like that because I'm not left-footed. It opened up for me and I saw the opportunity.
'It's always good to play against them (Spurs). I did four times last year for the under-18's and the under-21's, and I performed well in all of the games. I spent two-and-a-half years there and that was where I really pushed on. I got my confidence and I developed both as physically and technically as a player.'
Ramsay is in no doubt Norwich's support will play their part.
'Every time we have a game coming up at Carrow Road, we know there's going to be a big crowd. It adds to your game - you feel confident that you can do things, and then you show that on the pitch,' he said. 'It's massive and I've been thinking about it all week, and I'm sure the other lads have too.'
• Supporters can obtain a free ticket in advance for Thursday night's game from the club's usual ticket outlets or the official site or by ringing 0844 8261902.