Norwich City skipper Russell Martin pleased to have proved boyhood club Brighton wrong
- Credit: PA
Returning to boyhood club Brighton will fill Norwich City captain Russell Martin with a great deal of pride.
The defender was released by the Seagulls as an 18-year-old but has gone on to play in the Premier League for four season with the Canaries.
Now aged 30, Martin has also been capped 28 times by Scotland and played in 272 matches for City, to force his way into the club's all-time top 30 appearance makers.
'If I'm being honest, did I see myself being 30 and having nearly 30 international caps and having played in the Premier League? Definitely not at that point,' Martin said ahead of today's crunch clash with Brighton.
'I just wanted to get a chance to be a professional and be where I am now, which is fantastic, but you always want a little bit more so you keep working hard.
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'That's got me to where I am now so I'll keep doing that but, yeah, just intrinsic drive really to be better and to prove to people that I can do it.'
Martin played for non-league Lewes – a fan-owned club his three children now own shares of – after his release from Brighton but eventually returned to professional football with Wycombe.
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His success in the game has even allowed him to set up a football academy in Brighton, ensuring Martin will have plenty of family and friends watching at the Amex Stadium as the Canaries take on one of their promotion rivals – and their former manager Chris Hughton.
'Chris's sides are always extremely resilient and hard to break down so we've got to make sure we come up with a way to do that,' Martin said.
'They've kept a lot of clean sheets, not conceded many goals and they haven't scored as many as us as a by-product of that, but we'll be ready for that as we are against any team.
'We'll be well prepared and we'll know what it takes so it's up to us then to carry out the game-plan as players on the pitch and make sure we do it.'