Norwich City the benchmark for non-league Canaries

Tony Andreu scored a hat-trcik in Norwich City's 10-0 friendly win at Hitchin. Picture by Paul Chest

Tony Andreu scored a hat-trcik in Norwich City's 10-0 friendly win at Hitchin. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Hitchin boss Mark Burke urged his young talent to be inspired by a 10-0 friendly hammering against Norwich City.

The Canaries were ruthless in the second half at Top Field on Tuesday, but Burke is adamant it was the perfect learning curve for his Southern Premier Division club in a friendly to mark 150 years of association football in the Hertfordshire town.

'What I wanted to get out of it I did,' he said. 'In the first half I was pleased that we were solid and difficult to break down. I also think that Norwich appreciated that too as a bit of a test for them. We gave them problems.

'I gave (the players) a target of two corners and one shot for the whole game and we did more than that in the first half. Their keeper made a good save from (Matt) Lench, which would have been great if it had gone in. There were a few chances for us when we tried to play. We're pleased because we're at a 45-minute level at the moment.

'We haven't got the resources Norwich have got and they had different XIs play in each half while we had a couple of players having to play the full 90, but it was a good experience. Now my players know what Premier League players are like. It's something for them to aspire to. I believe seven of the lads from Norwich started out in non-league, so there's an opportunity for my players to do it. They're young enough.'


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Burke's club is in the same league as King's Lynn this coming season and the Canaries' boss is looking to build on a top 10 finish last time round.

'We were 13th the year before so it's about improving each time,' he said. 'We have kept more or less the same squad and I would like to think we could flirt with the play-offs. That is the aim but there are a few good teams.

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'King's Lynn have been switched from the north and I know they are going to be tough, Leamington have just come down, Dorchester and Weymouth are big clubs at our level. It is not easy.'

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