Norwich City Youth team skipper Cameron McGeehan out to impress on big stage

Norwich City's Cameron McGeehan will lead out the Canaries in their FA Youth Cup semi-final second l

Norwich City's Cameron McGeehan will lead out the Canaries in their FA Youth Cup semi-final second leg against Nottingham Forest. Picture: Simon Finlay - Credit: Archant Norfolk

Norwich City Youth team captain Cameron McGeehan is ready for the biggest game of his fledgling career this evening when the young Canaries take on Nottingham Forest in the second leg of their FA Youth Cup semi-final.

The City youngsters hold a 1-0 advantage thanks to Reece Hall-Johnson's late effort at the City Ground as the Canaries look to reach the final for the first time since 1983.

Norwich will be roared on by more than 7,000 supporters at Carrow Road and McGeehan can't wait for the occasion: 'We have all been working so hard and this is the pinnacle of youth football,' said the 18-year-old midfielder.

'To play at Carrow Road in front of 6,500 people is going to be great and something we can enjoy. We are going to work really hard and try to get the right result.

'In front of 6,500 people we are going to want to impress. The manager and the first team are going to be there and everything that we've done so far has been geared towards this game.'

Under the stewardship of Neil Adams the youngsters have already seen off the likes of Birmingham and Everton in previous rounds with the 4-2 win at Goodison Park in the quarter-final proving the highlight of their run so far.

But Forest showed enough in the first leg to demonstrate the Canaries are unlikely to have it all their own way whilst the pressure of playing in front of a big crowd will be a good test for Norwich's teenagers.

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While admitting there will be a few nerves in the squad going into the game, McGeehan insists it won't be an occasion he and his team-mates will shy away from.

'We've got a lot of experience already,' he said. 'A lot of us have played international games and that can help.

'A lot of us have been involved in the under-21s and all that experience can come to the forefront in the bigger games.

'We can handle the pressure a bit better maybe. We've played at some big stadiums – the City Ground, Goodison Park and obviously Carrow Road which we've played at three or four times. We've got a bit of experience in the group and we've got to utilise that.'

If City were to prove successful this evening they could come up against McGeehan's old club, Chelsea, in the final with the Londoners holding a 2-0 advantage over Liverpool going into the second leg.

The Northern Ireland Schoolboys international admitted it is a prospect he has thought about.

'Yes, I have thought about that (playing against Chelsea) a few times,' he added. 'All the concentration right now is on the game though. Hopefully we can win that and then I can look forward maybe to a tie against my old club.'

The whole Norwich first team is expected to be attendance alongside manager Chris Hughton with McGeehan revealing he has already had the chance to work closely with his heroes.

'I look up to the players in my position,' he said. 'The likes of Bradley Johnson and last year I watched a lot of David Fox and tried to take little things that he does and put them into my game.

'You know you can always talk to them and ask them questions and maybe sometimes even go out with them and do a couple of passing drills. They are great to learn from. They are at the top of their game and we are trying to get there.'

City's youngsters will be hoping tonight is just the first of many big occasions they are involved in at Carrow Road as they continue along a journey which they hope will lead to a professional contract.

While they are still a long way from making their way into the first team, McGeehan believes there is now a more structured path for youngsters to one day force their way into Hughton's thinking.

'I think there is a more definitive process now,' he said. 'We can see that there is the Under-21s, then you've got to train with the first team. You've got to try and bridge the gap every day. You want to be seen by the management staff and try to impress them whenever you can.

'Also you've then got to try and get on loan and maybe try and get some first team experience before you can then say I deserve to be playing for the first team.

'The first team players have been working all their careers – they have been playing in League One and they're now playing in the Premier League.

'They deserve their places and it's hard for us to then jump straight into the team because we've got to earn our place.'