Defender speaks exclusively to canaries.co.ukHARRY Toffolo is sharpening all facets of his game under the watchful eye of Alex Neil this pre-season.
At 19 the defender is the youngest member of Neil’s 25-man squad in Germany, and he has found himself thrust into the spotlight as Martin Olsson rehabilitates after his shoulder operation.
Toffolo has played a part in every warm-up fixture so far and is relishing both the attacking and defensive responsibilities from left-back.
“The manager likes his left-back to get forward, and you could see that with Martin last year, who got up and down a lot. My attacking game has improved massively.
“I love defending too, but nowadays the modern day left-back gets up and down the wing and that suits me perfectly.
“The gaffer’s really good with me. He’s been through clips with me and tells what position he wants me to play.
“At Swindon last year I was a left wing-back, whereas the role here is more of a left-back in a four. It’s a lot different, but the gaffer sits down with me and goes through little bits and bobs to make sure I know what I’m doing come training and games.”
He flourished during his spell at the County Ground in 2014-15, making 30 appearances in all competitions as Mark Cooper’s side reached the Sky Bet League One Play-Off Final.
“I can’t thank Swindon enough for giving me the opportunity to give me my debut season,” added Toffolo, who was part of City’s FA Youth Cup winning side in 2013.
“I never thought I’d get a trip to Wembley at the end of it. I remember saying to mum and dad ‘would you have imagined six months ago that I’d be at Wembley now?’
“It was a very young side; the average age was about 22. Andy Williams was 28 and he was the oldest player. I settled in really well there and the fans took to me as well.
“Swindon were great to me and Norwich have been great to me as well.”
Since returning to Norfolk, Toffolo has had no problems embedding himself within a group of players he has shared Colney Training Centre alongside for a number of years.
“All the lads have been really good to me since I’ve come in. I’m not really a new lad to come in, I’ve been around and done my apprenticeship here, so I’ve known a few of the boys,” he said.
“I’ve got on really well with them and I look forward to training with them and the stuff off the pitch as well.
“I’ve really enjoyed it. It was good to get my first Norwich goal the other night against Cambridge. The year before Swindon, I probably wouldn’t have been that high as a left-back!
“I feel I’m part of the group now with the help of the boys and the staff.”