Glory of 2013 FA Youth Cup squad helps City U18s prepare for Derby clash
The FA Youth Cup glory of 2013 still looms large for Norwich City's academy players and can still play a large part in motivating the club's current crop of under-18s.
The young Canaries face Derby County in the fourth round at Carrow Road tonight (7pm kick-off), having beaten Barnsley 4-1 at home in the third round in December.
With the likes of the Murphy twins, Carlton Morris, Harry Toffolo and Cameron McGeehan all having gone on to make it as professionals from Neil Adams’ squad of five years ago, that success speaks for itself.
“We haven’t spoken about it at all really,” City’s U18s head coach David Wright said. “We’ve got a lot of pictures of it up around the training ground so they’re reminded of it every day about how well that team did and how many from that team have gone on to play professional football, and not just for this club.
“So we just concentrate on our process and making sure that the players are in the best possible shape to go into this game and perform how we want them to play.”
The competition has suited the Canaries well in recent years, reaching the fifth round last season and the quarter-finals in 2016.
“I think it’s very important for the boys in terms of development,” Wright said of the Youth Cup. “They play at stadiums under floodlights, so that’s a totally different experience altogether, we end up playing teams who are not in our league, Barnsley and Derby are teams that we don’t play in our league so that’s different again, northern teams sometimes have different styles of play.
“And then you add the pressure of the Youth Cup, you put all that in the mix, and I think it’s an excellent experience.”
He added: “If they’re going to go and play for our first team then they’re going to play in front of 20 to 30,000 people, so as much as we can expose them to the stadium and playing under the lights, different kinds of pressures and different teams and systems, the better it is for their individual development.”
• Tickets are £3, call 0844 826 1902, visit canaries.co.uk or go to one the club’s ticket offices to purchase