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7 April 2016

Coach Graeme Murty ended playing career with the Saints

NORWICH City Academy coach Graeme Murty is relishing the prospect of taking his side to face former club Southampton on Saturday (12:30pm) in the Barclays Under-18s Premier League.

The 41-year-old ended his playing career with the Saints in 2010, before moving into coaching within the south coast outfit's youth setup.

Speaking to ahead of the game, Murty explained: "It's a game which is very close to my heart, first and foremost.

"I'm very thankful for them giving me an opportunity to play at such a big club, then for giving me such a good grounding as a coach. It's always nice to go to Staplewood, and I worked with the group we're up against.

"They're a good bunch but I'm determined for our team to do what we're good at. It's important I take myself to the side and let the players focus on their game, because that's the main thing."

City have already met Southampton twice this season, impressively securing a 3-2 away win at the end of January having drawn 2-2 at Colney three months earlier.

On what he learned from those contests, Murty added: "It's going to be a competitive game but will hopefully be one played in the right way.

"The players need to lay down a marker for next season. People are forming opinions of them every day, so they need to leave a positive impression with everyone in these closing weeks of the season.

"More importantly, they need to start to reach a level of consistency they are capable of. We've got a good group of first year scholars coming in, meaning the older players will have to work for their starting position next year."

L – 2-3 v Stoke City (H) 19/03/2016 - Barclays U18s Premier League 
L – 0-1 v Swansea City (H) 12/03/2016 - Barclays U18s Premier League 
D – 1-1 v Newcastle (A) 05/03/2016 - Barclays Under-18s Premier League
L – 2-0 v Manchester City (A) 29/02/2016 - FA Youth Cup
L – 2-5 v Brighton & Hove Albion (H) 27/02/2016 - Barclays Under-18s Premier League 

LAST NORWICH CITY U18s XI (v Stoke City): Beauchamp; Sambu (Jaiyesimi, 63), Catton, Pollock, Syme, Wallis, Higgs (Payne, 68), Black, Couzens (c), Aransibia, Da Costa. Subs not used: Hale-Brown (GK).

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