Rapid rise of Aarons is pushing young midfielder forward at Norwich City
PUBLISHED: 06:45 23 January 2019 | UPDATED: 10:15 23 January 2019
As the next generation of Norwich City's academy hopefuls push for chances to impress, David Freezer caught up with Liverpool lad Tom Scully as the midfielder continues his Canaries development.
The impressive rise to prominence of Max Aarons has provided perfect motivation for Norwich City academy midfielder Tom Scully.
The Liverpool lad played alongside the full-back whilst on trial with the Canaries at the end of last season, before signing professional terms in the summer after his time with Everton had come to an end.
Scully played in a handful of U18s games before featuring as a late substitute in a 1-0 win over Aston Villa U23s in April, with Aarons also in action.
Little more than six months later and his new club-mate was making his Championship debut and winning England Under-19 caps, playing alongside Todd Cantwell, Jamal Lewis and Ben Godfrey as City’s youngsters continue to provide inspiration for the next generation of hopefuls.
“I was saying a couple of days ago that when my trial game came about, Max was in the team and then a couple of months later I came back and he’s in the first team!” Scully said with a chuckle.
“But it just shows all of us that there is a pathway because you don’t really find four academy graduates in the team every week, anywhere really.
“I speak to Max quite a bit and he’s just loving every single second of it. I speak to Ben as well, he was on loan last season and then come back and has took his chance, so he just tells us how amazing it is every single day.”
The 19-year-old is originally from the Aintree area of Liverpool and was with the Reds from under-six all the way through to under-14 level, before switching colours to the team he supported, Everton.
After being told that his scholarship wouldn’t become a professional deal with the Toffees during the latter stages of last season, it was time to look for the next step in his fledgling career.
“To be fair, I said to my agent, get me somewhere close to home – and he got me somewhere as far away as possible!” the midfielder continued.
“But he said that this was the best club to come to out of the options I had and I said, ‘let’s go for it’. I came in for a trial and Norwich said they wanted to sign me.”
He added: “I’m loving it, I’m living in the city, I’ve got a new lodger with me in Mason Bloomfield, who’s come to live with me, and I’m just loving it, every day coming in and playing football.”
Scully has made 20 appearances for City’s under-23s so far this season, playing all of a 1-1 draw with Leicester for David Wright’s team on Monday.
He has also played alongside the likes of Timi Odusina, Tristan Abrahams and Simon Power, who are all out getting loan experience, but realises he may have to wait for that chance.
“I think maybe next season, because this is my first season of 23s football,” he continued. “I spoke to the coaching staff and next year maybe is the possibility for that, which I’d want to do.
“I’ll just be in the gym every day, trying to get bigger and stuff, and just enjoying my football.”
The Scouser was in the thick of the action against the Foxes at Colney on Monday night, playing in a deep-lying central midfield role, a draw which just about keeps hopes of qualifying for the PL Cup knockout stages alive.
“My legs are falling off right now!” he said following the game. “To be fair in the first 15 minutes we battered them, they didn’t have a kick, but at the end of the first half they started to kick on.
“Second half we knew what we had to do, we had to just battle it out, because they’re a good team, they’re in Division One and near the top of the league so I thought we did well to hold out, and we had some chances ourselves as well.”
Scully has also featured on the wing during this season and is well aware that versatility can help his development.
“I used to play right-back as a kid (at Liverpool) and then moved to central midfield when I was about 15 (at Everton), but whether I’m on the wing or not, I’m on the pitch, so I’m not going to complain about it,” he concluded.
“I think my strength is my passing, keeping the ball, vision, seeing what’s on around me. I could probably work on adding goals and assists, but the main aim right now is to just try and get bigger and stuff in the gym – but obviously I want to score more goals.”
The young Canaries are now unbeaten in three games, after a 2-1 win over Villa and a 2-2 draw with Spurs last week but have to wait until Friday, February 1 for their next game, a fourth consecutive match at Colney as they return to Premier League Two action against West Brom.
• Watch a video of the slick team move which led to Spencer Keller’s goal against Leicester above