City's Academy Manager brings you the latest on youth developmentWE at Norwich City’s Academy are delighted to launch our own Twitter account, which can be found HERE.
As an Academy we take part in some great initiatives, and some of those things aren’t always open to the public, either to supporters or to parents. Twitter will offer the opportunity to communicate about these activities.
Sometimes they go on behind closed-doors, for example last week there was an Under-16s Premier League tournament at West Ham, and that was a parent-free tournament which was the Premier League’s choice. Our parents often don’t know how their boys are getting on, and this is a chance to be able to share that message.
It’s a very challenging season for our Under-21s in 2014-15, not only because they’re in the Category One Under-21s programme, but they’re in the top 12 division of that, so there are no easy games. Every single game is a really tough one – they’ve played Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City in their first three fixtures.
That’s what we want for Under-21s though. It’s purely about development. Every single time we go to a game we want to try and win it, the players and staff want to win it and the preparation is there to try and win it; however that will never be put ahead of the development of players.
One player our Under-21s are currently without is Carlton Morris, who is enjoying a loan spell with League Two side Oxford United.
I saw him play against Dagenham and Redbridge a couple of weeks ago. He started the game really well; he got a great shot off within the first 30 seconds, and then he set up the opening goal a minute later. He tired in the second half and got substituted, but this is an 18-year-old lad who has gone out and, since the beginning of August, has been playing Saturday-Tuesday pretty much every week.
He’s started on the bench in recent matches, so now he’s seeing that part of the game as well. As one of the top players in his age group, he’d have been one of the first names on the team sheet every week but now he’s got a different challenge.
Someone else has got the number 9 shirt, and he has to figure out how to get that back and how to keep it. That’s exactly what we want from a loan experience. We need it to be up and down, for him to face a challenge, and it will be interesting to see how he deals with this one.
It’s been mixed for the Under-18s so far, as it always is. You’ve got ten new players who are in the building and who are adjusting to being away from home and training full time every day. Then, because of the number of Under-18s playing in the Under-21s, first-year players and Under-16s are regularly starting in Under-18s games.
They have won one and lost three of their opening four games, and we look forward to monitoring their progress over the coming weeks and months.