Pathway plans for Norwich City’s youngsters

Norwich City's Under-18s celebrate winning the FA Youth Cup at Stamford Bridge. Picture: Matthew Ush

Norwich City's Under-18s celebrate winning the FA Youth Cup at Stamford Bridge. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

Norwich City's youngsters are already assured their place in the club's history – now decisions lie ahead to make sure their futures are just as successful.

Norwich City Under-18s manager Neil Adams with the FA Youth Cup. Picture: Denise Bradley

Norwich City Under-18s manager Neil Adams with the FA Youth Cup. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: Archant 2013

The Canaries' 2013 FA Youth Cup-winning squad included first-year scholars like striker Carlton Morris. But second-year starlets such as centre-back pairing Harry Toffolo and Kyle McFadden are now left hoping they get a first professional deal – as Josh and Jacob Murphy signed at the start of the year – to ensure their place in City's Under-21 set-up.

'It's not an easy process – you're fortunate if you get a Wayne Rooney or Michael Owen who you can throw into the Premier League at 16 years old,' said Under-18 boss Neil Adams. 'Those come around once every decade. The leap from Under-18 level to Premier League is absolutely enormous, and not many can go and play in the Premier League at this age.

'So it takes time and loan moves can help develop them. The big clubs do it. They see that as the way forward, to get them out into Leagues One and Two, give them that first team atmosphere and experience of the physical contact where points and jobs are on the line.

'They come back better players for their first teams or other clubs will want to buy them – and that's what we're here for. But I'll say one thing – the supporters here love nothing better than to see one of their own coming through and if one eventually does get into the first team they'll say yes, we know who that is.'


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