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REPORT: U18s 2-2 SOUTHAMPTON

24 October 2015

Kamal and Couzens on target for young Canaries

GRAEME Murty praised the progress of his Norwich City Under-18s side after they played out a 2-2 draw with Southampton at Colney Training Centre on Saturday.

Having gone behind to a 33rd minute goal from Saints' captain Olufela Olomola, City reacted positively as finely-taken efforts from Bilal Kamal and George Couzens either side of the interval put them in front.

Despite being denied a win by Oskar Cvjetičanin's strike midway through the second half, Murty told canaries.co.uk: "It was the first time we'd gone behind to then respond in that manner.

"Both of our goals were excellent, with Bilal scoring his first at this level with his weaker foot. Then we saw George show great pace and composure to finish well.

"Once again, I've said to the players we could have done better defensively at critical moments. They're learning from that though, and there's definitely improvement in those areas.

"It's down to us as a coaching staff to not expect too much, too soon, because they're still young men. However, you can see their growth on a day-to-day basis, which is really pleasing."

The Canaries featured a number of young players in their squad, continuing a theme of recent weeks which has seen the likes of Louis McIntosh step up to Under-21s level.

"We started with three Under-16s, then had Sinatra Antwi come on, so it's an invaluable experience for them," explained.

"It's important to expose the players at the right times of their development to see how they can do, and to challenge them. The game represented an excellent opportunity for us in those terms.

"Our three first-year defenders dealt with difficult personal challenges really well. When you look at their individual progress, and of the players across the pitch, it was a really useful exercise for us." 

Norwich City XI: Oxborough; Syme, Wallis, Ellesley, Catton (Boateng, 82); Walters, Sambu; Spyrou (Antwi, 19), Kamal (Aransibia, 75), Cantwell (c); Couzens. Subs not used: Hale-Brown (GK), Odusina.



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